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The Maryland Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure is part of the largest network of breast cancer survivors and activists fighting breast cancer. But what most of us in Maryland don’t know is that they aren’t a big nonprofit. In fact the staff numbers just eight. Yet in 2008 Komen Maryland granted over $2 million to local breast health and breast cancer awareness projects across the State. Up to 75% of net proceeds generated by Komen Maryland remains in Maryland and 25% support national research and scientific programs around the world.

So how does a small staff with a big vision (to end breast cancer!) build success? Besides energizing thousands of volunteers and great pro-bono partners like PUNCH, Komen Maryland’s ad agency, they tap the new media along with the traditional. So they married an new edgy ad campaign, Support your Local Breasts, with Facebook to create excitement and success.  The focus of the ad campaign is to educate the community that they are the MARYLAND affiliate, separate from our national headquarters and we provide services here throughout Maryland. 

They began with a complete analysis of the race (next one is Sunday, Oct. 18) and discovered that 10% of our participants were raising 90% of our race revenue! To enhance and secure the success of our signature event, Race for the Cure, we identified our focus to communicate better the need that all participants do some fundraising.  We hired Adcieo, a local solutions management company to help with web-based efforts and overall electronic communications.

They dove into social networking especially with their Facebook page to promote the ad campaign, Race for the Cure and all the efforts of our affiliate.  There Komen Maryland is holding a Support Your Local Breasts photo contest on a special fan page. In the campaign, Komen asked Facebook “fans” to find a bus shelter poster around town featuring the new campaign, snap their picture with it and enter into a photo contact via Facebook for a chance to win Komen goodies.

The campaign was a success – will the race be? Well we won’t know until October 18, but on October 6th, we’ll hear from Komen reps more on the details of their campaign. On tap to present and answer questions will be: Lenore Koors, development director and Rebecca McCoy, MPH, grants & education program manager both with Komen Maryland and Dennis Chyba, president, Adcieo.

The session not to miss is Activating Grass Roots at 10:30. With Komen Maryland, you’ll hear the story of the End The Wait Now Campaign, a project of the Developmental Disabilities Coalition and The Arc of Maryland which is tapping the power of YouTube.

The power of social media is in giving voice — and action — to small nonprofits.

–Industry News