VCU Massey Cancer Center is among the top 4 percent of cancer centers in the country and is one of two in the state designated by the National Cancer Institute to lead and shape America’s cancer research efforts.  To collect donations for like saving research the organization relies on an annual event called- The Massey Challenge.


The Massey Challenge originated as a physical event where the organization received a percentage of the donor registration fee for from racers of the Monument 10K- one of the largest races in the country.


Last year they realized that associating with one event-that focuses on physical activity- it limits the amount of participants, which significantly limits donation opportunities. To overcome this obstacle they have created individual Massey Challenges where donors can create their own event based on what they are passionate about. 

Ask: Help them raise $750,000 in the 2016 annual campaign


Problem: With the success of the Massey Challenge ($5 million raised in 10 years), their decision to expand into individual challenges has made it difficult to easily grasp the Massey Challenge’s message and identity. 


Ask Reframed: Give them a “New Way to Massey” that prioritizes awareness, donations, participation, and can be sustainable for the future.


Key Hurdles:

  1. It’s easier than ever to spread the word, but it’s harden than ever to earn attention and make people care.

  2. The “Ask Paradox” undermines fundraisers’ confidence.

  3. Fundraising is tough and not all fundraisers fundraise.

  4. People discount the value of small donations. 


Strategy: Shift the peer-to-peer fundraising model away from the traditional focus of raising money to reach a monetary goal. Instead, challenge people to recruit an army of cancer fighters.


It’s more than an event, or collection of events, it’s a movement fueled by people who believe that research will end cancer and that together we can help more people live.


Creative Concepts: Power in Numbers and Powered by the People


Creative Executions

With the new strategy of creating Movement fueled by an Army of Cancer fighters, we realized we needed two campaigns. The first campaign focused on recruiting our army to gain more supporters and increase engagement with the brand. The second campaign focused on highlighting individuals in the movement to foster long-term relationships with Massey.



Other team members: AD: Anna Andreen, CW: Emily Hovis, XD: Bryan Mortenson, ST: Sam Halle