The Orvis Cover Dog Photo Contest - The Orvis Company and Morris Animal Foundation
The Orvis Company is best known for its mail order fly-fishing equipment. But this Vermont-based business, which operates the oldest mail order operation in the country, also has a robust dog products mail-order catalogue and online presence, as well as 70 retail stores in the United States.
They partnered with the Morris Animal Foundation, a nonprofit that invests in science to promote animal health, and is a leader in funding scientific studies for companion animals, horses, and wildlife. When Morris launched its Canine Cancer Campaign, Orvis seemed like a likely partner
Together they created The Orvis Cover Dog Photo Contest to deepen customer engagement and awareness. Participants were invited to submit a picture of their dog to the contest and then invite friends and family (through social media) to vote for their pooch online. Each vote cost $1 with a $5 minimum vote/donation.
More than 100,000 photos were submitted—from customers and non-customers alike, leading Orvis to add tens of thousands of customers to its mailing list and Morris Animal Foundation to add 26, 540 new donors, 10 percent of whom have given a second gift. The campaign also involved famed actress Betty White, a known animal lover, who filmed a web spot to promote the contest.
To date, $1,085,898 has been raised and 11 major colleges and universities are conducting research funded by monies gained through this program. By partnering with Orvis, Morris Animal Foundation has created six programs, including one to train scientists, two to improve cancer diagnoses, and three that developed improvements in cancer treatments.