Since it was founded in 2003, Movember has grown from a whisker of an idea into a full-fledged global organization. Launched by a group of Australian friends looking to bring back the much-maligned moustache in the name of charity, Movember has since raise $759 million for men’s health initiatives around the globe. The organization aims to reduce premature deaths in young men by 25 percent by the year 2030 by increasing awareness about testicular and prostate cancer and working to remove the stigma surrounding mental illness.
The Movember Foundation was an early pioneer in peer-to-peer online fundraising (men can get sponsored to grow a moustache for the month of November), and Canadians have been especially responsive to the effort. Since it arrived here in 2007, the movement has grown to include community events and has raised a total of $200 million.
Accountability, transparency and innovation have always been important to the Movember Foundation and when the team began to look for ways to move away from traditional methods of fundraising, Square was a natural fit.
“One area where we weren’t innovating was technology tools for fundraisers,” says John Wilkie, head of partnerships and development at Movember. “We’ve worked with Square to create a unique platform that allows us to track, monitor and implement the fundraising that our community is going to do. Throughout September and October we challenged our community to come to us with ideas about how to host events and use simple campaigns on a peer-to-peer basis; when they did and they asked for it, we sent them a Square Reader.”
The partnership has enabled the Movember Foundation to send out 1,000 Square Readers to Canadians who are planning Movember fundraising events of all sizes this month. The readers empower community members to run events while easily taking donations. And they give the Movember team an opportunity to track and receive the funds quickly and securely.
“We can say that this person raised this much money at this time at this location on this date, and every payment that comes in goes directly into our bank account. Not only do we get the money in real time to put towards the programs, but we also get to understand exactly where it’s come from and how we’re able to disperse those funds afterwards,” notes John. For every dollar raised, 83 cents goes directly to helping fund men’s health initiatives.
So far, Movember participants feel that Square’s credit card reader brings legitimacy to their efforts and many are looking forward to keeping and using the reader after the month is over. Just as Movember’s fundraising continues after November 30, John hopes that the participants’ relationships with Square will continue year-round as a way to empower men through entrepreneurship.
“You never know which one of those readers will lead to: ‘I want to do more than my job, I’ll open a shop or small business’.”
To find out more about Movember events in your area, or to host one yourself, visit ca.movember.com for more details.