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Seneca students create Panda-Monium for the CN Tower Climb!

Co-Written by Charlene Penney and Torey Kehoe, Students, Seneca College

Charlene Penney and Torey Kehoe are students within Seneca’s Marketing Management for Non-Profits program. To get real life experience within the sector, they stepped up to manage a fundraising campaign throughout their school for WWF’s CN Tower Climb. As team captains, they share the creative strategies they learned in the classroom and how they’re putting them to use.

We originally got involved with the climb through our Marketing Management for Non-Profits course. Our professor presented the idea of our class working with the WWF on the climb as a practical project that would give us real-world experience combining what we’ve learned about marketing and fundraising.

CN Tower

Non-Profit Leadership and Management Program Class of 2014. © Charlene Penney / Torey Kehoe

At first, there was a bit of reluctance to pick up a big, new project so close to the end of the semester. A lot of students are finishing school next week and in the meantime are dealing with final exams and assignments. We knew this would be a challenge but as the future leaders of the non-profit sector, we have learned that being open and flexible towards last-minute projects and challenges is a prerequisite for the job! We also knew that this challenge would force us to get creative and have fun with our marketing and fundraising campaign.

One of the ways we have done this is through our mass marketing campaign on Twitter and Facebook. We have found that social media is an excellent tool for promoting to and engaging with today’s tech-savvy college students. Our social media campaign has been a lot of fun, and chock full of animal puns. For example, “Climbing the CN Tower with @WWF_At_Work and @SenecaSSF?! Get ‪#‎OTTER here!” …and… ”Wanna join @WWF_at_Work and @SenecaSSF in the CN Tower Climb?! Let ‪#‎MINNOW!” …the list goes on.

We have also organized a booth in the college commons where students can sign up directly with us. Our classmate Katherine got the kids she works with at the Boys and Girls Club to make an amazing banner for the table, and our promotional team got so into it, they even dressed up as animals when working the booth. I mean, who doesn’t want to hear what a student dressed in an animal costume has to say?! We attracted a lot of interested students and are now following up with them through direct email contact to get them officially registered in teams.

Like we said, our main focus was to make it fun and we’ve done that in our fundraising for our own team, “Panda-Monium”, as well. Our team has decided to climb the CN Tower dressed up as animals (obviously) and we created a little fundraising incentive. For every $20 a person donates, we will give them 1 vote as to what animal we should dress up as for the climb. So far, we’ve had votes for Hedgehog, Shark, Deer, Squid, and Platypus…this could be interesting!

Our class (especially Torey the Environmentalist and Charlene the Animal-Lover) is so happy to have the opportunity to work with such a well-respected and successful organization in the sector, WWF! Our whole class supports the WWF’s work and its quest to save endangered animals and habitats of our planet. We are excited and proud to actively contribute to that cause!

Join WWF for the 24th Annual Canada Life CN Tower Climb on May 1 and 3, 2014. Register. Fundraise. Climb. Protect. Earn your stripes at wwf.ca/cntowerNot in Toronto? You can still support WWF by doing the Climbless Climb!