100 Wells for Ethiopia - Pacific Dental Services/The Smile Generation and charity: water
The Smile Generation connects patients with great dentists who are, in turn, supported by Pacific Dental Services (which provides dentists with necessary tools and business administration support). The company strives to promote a “We Serve” attitude in each affiliated office. This community focus helps validate the dental services provided and portrays the office and its staff as caring and approachable.
Building upon an existing relationship with charity: water, PDS & The Smile Generation decided to take the partnership to the next level through a cause marketing campaign called “100 Wells for Ethiopia”. The campaign reached PDS employees and Smile Generation-trusted offices and patients with the goal of raising $1 million to build 100 wells for Ethiopia. Each well required $10,000 to be built.
Kicked off at an annual conference with a charity: water-branded event, including interactive installations that brought the water crisis to life and keynote by charity: water founder Scott Harrison, the 100 Wells for Ethiopia campaign featured original photography from Ethiopia, a campaign logo and creative materials to be displayed in all of The Smile Generation-trusted dental offices around the United States.
Two hundred and fifty four individual campaigns across 271 offices and 13 National Support Center departments were created. Participants raised money in any way possible including bake sales, yard sales, chili cook-offs, concerts, dunk tanks, poker tournaments and home parties. Teams also reached out to key vendor partners.
The most successful aspect of the program was in offices discounting dental treatment in return for campaign donations (e.g., “Donate $25 dollars; get $50 off treatment” or “Donate $50; get $100 of treatment”). Patient communication was continuously reinforced throughout the campaign with in-office posters, jerry cans in the lobby, screen savers in the dental chairs, patient donation pin ups at the checkout counter, and a video playing in the office waiting room. “Dirty” and “clean” water displays also helped initiate and engage conversations.
The campaign engaged over 3,000 employees and 11,000 patients with over three million email records received information about the 100 Wells for Ethiopia campaign and raised $1,314,505, funding 131 wells with 12,199 unique donations. The campaign saw a $108 average donation amount for each Smile Generation campaign versus the $68 mycharitywater.org average.
Judges were impressed with the campaign’s execution, getting big buy-in at all levels of the organization. Tying a dental office with a water charity requires some explaining and judges felt this campaign effectively capitalized on this opportunity to tell a compelling and tangible story to employees, clients and stakeholders alike.