In 2003, when the conversation arose between Travis Garone and Luke Slattery on the come-back of the mustache, the friends jokingly asked themselves whether it would actually be possible. Inspired by a friend’s mother who was fundraising for breast cancer, the chosen cause for this campaign would be men’s health and prostate cancer. As the popular idea of masculinity does not always welcome men to speak up on their physical or mental health issues, there was a clear opportunity to act. The Movember rules that are still in place today were then set up between 26 friends as a challenge for one of the group’s birthdays.
Maintaining its celebratory and humorous nature, Movember carried on to build a positive and educational brand that made it easier to openly discuss men’s health. The Movember foundation currently supports four key causes in men’s health; prostate cancer, testicular cancer, mental health and physical inactivity. The counterculture initiative rapidly gained a following by having a clear, unique message that Connects, Innovates, and Accelerates – ultimately becoming the largest non-governmental investor in prostate cancer research in the world today.
Movember was perfectly timed to ride the social media growth wave from 2003 to 2010. By being focused in their approach of their target audience, the platform also expanded through its own digital fundraising platform and the development of an interactive app, allowing them to even more so engage members in the movement. Amongst many partnerships, we find Twitch, a global live streaming platform for gamers with high engagement of the gaming community. Twitch and Movember collaborated on in-game integration, Movember merchandise sales and fundraising by the platform’s “influencers”. The partnership with SKY’s Sports channels focused on mental health by airing the documentary series “Man up”, a special edition of the Debate show, and recruiting different sports heroes as Movember ambassadors. Formula 1 Racing partnered up with Movember by recruiting the drivers as spokespersons and this way engaging the mainly male and older audience.
The Movember foundation continues to innovate by listening to community feedback. One of the initiatives that originated from UK member suggestions were the donation badges. The foundation launched contactless fundraising badges in the United States and United Kingdom which are compatible with Apple Pay, PayPal or Card, and Google Pay in order to make fundraising a little easier on the Anglo-Saxon world (and its politeness).
The Movember foundation invests its funds in fast-acting projects, amongst which:
Naturally, impact is more complex to measure for sensitive and personal social issues. The Movember foundation adopts the Results Based Accountability Framework. This means that the output of inititiatives is reviewed and assessed internally, but not necessarily publicly disclosed. Rather, the foundation defines success as being able to finance innovative solutions and consequently reports its impact via money raised and money donated.
The mission of the Movember foundation runs through its exponential growth story like a hairy red thread. Catering their message precisely to its target audience, actively finding innovative ways for stakeholder engagement and having clear plans in place for acceleration are all part of its success. As mentioned in the book Winning Sustainability Strategies (Palgrave 2018, Leleux and Van der Kaaij), direction and speed are essential for the effective execution of sustainability strategies. For a talk on how your organization can define its focus points and strategy, do not hesitate to contact Jan van der Kaaij, Managing Partner at Finch & Beak via firstname.lastname@example.org or +34 6 82 04 83 01 to set up a date.
Picture source: Independent.ie