St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and the generous consumers and partners who supported the ninth annual St. Jude Thanks and Giving campaign have something to celebrate this year, raising more than $72 million in support of the organization’s mission of finding cures and saving children battling cancer and other deadly diseases.
The annual holiday campaign’s results represent a projected increase of nearly 14 percent over the previous year, boosted by record-breaking fundraising by its world-class corporate partners, unprecedented levels of online engagement and donations, and a sharp rise in contributions from Hispanic donors. The campaign has now raised more than $380 million for St. Jude since its inception.
St. Jude Thanks and Giving corporate partners, which include more than 60 of America’s leading companies and brands, raised more than $60 million this year, an increase of more than 12 percent from last year. New partners Coca-Cola, Carnival Cruise Lines, Coldwater Creek, ICING and Gifts That Give joined returning partners Kmart, CVS/pharmacy, DICK’S Sporting Goods, Ann Taylor LOFT, Kay Jewelers, Williams-Sonoma Inc., Domino’s Pizza, GNC, HomeGoods, New York & Company, Claire’s and many others, who asked their customers to support St. Jude while shopping during the holiday season. These companies also leveraged valuable media assets to raise awareness for the campaign and integrated innovative online, mobile, digital and in-store initiatives – from exciting new apps to specialty merchandise – to maximize consumer giving.
“Without the generosity and caring support of our St. Jude Thanks and Giving corporate partners and their customers from all over the country, we would not be able to continue to save the lives of children who come to St. Jude from communities across the nation,” said Marlo Thomas, national outreach director for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. “For more than 50 years, my father’s dream to save the lives of the sickest children – no matter their race, religion or if their family can pay – has been the mission of St. Jude. We are incredibly grateful to our partners for their continued dedication.”
The funds and awareness raised by this year’s St. Jude Thanks and Giving campaign were boosted by an increased focus on emerging media and strong digital engagement. Donations from online, mobile and offline channels grew by 40 percent over the previous year, while online efforts alone grew by 63 percent. The 2012 St. Jude Thanks and Giving campaign generated significant increases in St. Jude Facebook likes and Twitter followers, the latter of which were seven times more engaged than in previous campaigns.
As a result of the longtime commitment of St. Jude to reaching Hispanic donors, St. Jude’s Spanish-language website, hospitalsanjudas.org, saw an increase in donations of 99.6 percent from last year. The support of St. Jude celebrity friends – including singer/songwriter and campaign spokesperson Luis Fonsi, as well as Sofia Vergara, Daisy Fuentes, Prince Royce and Juanes, among others – combined with social media efforts within the community, pushed Hispanic donor engagement to record-setting levels.
Additionally, supporters participated in St. Jude Give thanks. Walk. events in more than 90 markets across the nation, helping to raise more than $4 million for the campaign.
“The fact that the St. Jude Thanks and Giving campaign continues to grow each year is a testament to the incredible support of our corporate partners and the individual donors who choose to support the lifesaving mission of St. Jude during the holiday season,” said Richard Shadyac Jr., chief executive officer of ALSAC/St. Jude. “Though their generosity can never fully be repaid, it is felt every day by children receiving the best possible treatment for the toughest cases of cancer and other deadly diseases, and by the families who never get a bill from St. Jude.”
Created by Marlo, Terre, and Tony Thomas, the St. Jude Thanks and Giving campaign utilizes a multi-media approach to unite celebrities, media and corporate partners during the busy holiday season in support of the groundbreaking research and lifesaving treatment that takes place at St. Jude. It costs $1.8 million to operate the hospital each day, and unlike other hospitals, more than 75 percent of that funding comes from the public through campaigns like St. Jude Thanks and Giving.
In 2012, the top fundraising partners include:
• Kmart, its customers, and SHOP YOUR WAY members remained the top fundraising partner for the fourth consecutive year, raising more than $7.5 million through point-of-sale donations at locations nationwide and via a link at kmart.com/stjude, and through proceeds of a collectible St. Jude bear ornament. This year, Kmart and its spokespeople Sandra Lee and Jaclyn Smith demonstrated their dedication by treating St. Jude patients to in-store shopping sprees for the children at the hospital. Kmart has raised more than $37 million for St. Jude since becoming a partner in 2006.
• CVS/pharmacy and its generous customers and colleagues supported the lifesaving work of St. Jude by raising nearly $6.4 million this year nationwide. CVS/pharmacy has been a partner since 2004 and has raised more than $37 million for the campaign.
• ANN INC.‘s Ann Taylor and LOFT brands continue to raise funds for children battling cancer and other deadly diseases. This year, customer and employee donations at Ann Taylor, LOFT, Ann Taylor Factory, and LOFT Outlet stores, as well as the sale of limited edition products benefiting St. Jude, raised more than $4 million for the campaign. ANN INC. has been a partner since 2007 and, with the help of their enthusiastic customers and employees, they have donated more than $15.7 million.
• DICK’S Sporting Goods raised more than $4.8 million through its compassionate customers via a point-of-sale fundraising campaign at more than 500 retail locations across the United States. A partner since 2007, DICK’s has raised more than $22 million for St. Jude through participation in the St. Jude Thanks and Giving campaign.
• Williams-Sonoma, Inc.‘s portfolio of brands, including Williams-Sonoma, Pottery Barn, Pottery Barn Kids, PBteen and West Elm raised $3.8 million through point-of-sale donations and specialty product sales.
• GNC had a record fundraising year for St. Jude, raising nearly $3.2 million through point-of-sale donations and integrating St. Jude Thanks and Giving into its mobile applications. New this year, the application included health and wellness resources that could be accessed anywhere. GNC has been a partner since 2006 and has donated more than $10 million.
• New York & Company, a partner since 2008, raised $2.5 million this year through online and in-store giving, as well as through a National Platinum sponsorship of St. Jude Give thanks. Walk. Since joining St. Jude Thanks and Giving, New York & Company has raised more than $10 million.
• Coca-Cola was the first consumer packaged goods partner to the St. Jude Thanks and Giving campaign. The brand used its highly trafficked My Coke Rewards site to capture donations and build awareness, allowing 20 million members the opportunity to raise more than $35,000 for St. Jude.
• Claire’s Stores Inc. showed great strength throughout the campaign raising more than $2 million, with Claire’s and ICING stores combined, for St. Jude while expanding its philanthropic mission among new audiences.
• Domino’s Pizza leveraged its expansive social media audience for St. Jude Thanks and Giving, along with integrating St. Jude into its mobile applications. With advertising support from Coca-Cola, Domino’s also offered a St. Jude Thanks and Giving Combo benefitting St. Jude. The result was raising over $3.5 million. Since our partnership began in 2004, Domino’s has raised more than $16 million for St. Jude.
“We are very proud to be a national partner of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital,” said J. Patrick Doyle, Domino’s Pizza president and CEO. “St. Jude has touched the lives of children all over the world and even helped save the life of a Domino’s team member’s child.”
St. Jude Thanks and Giving kicked off Thanksgiving week. Heartwarming national television spots featuring some of the biggest names in film, television, music and sports aired on broadcast and cable stations. New this year to the campaign were Michael Strahan and Sofia Vergara, who joined longtime celebrity supporters Jennifer Aniston, Robin Williams, Shaun White and singer/songwriter Luis Fonsi, alongside Marlo Thomas and courageous St. Jude patients. The campaign was also supported by national print, online, out-of-home and theatre advertising, as well as a multitude of national media appearances by Marlo Thomas , all of which combined to broadly raise awareness and support overall fundraising for St. Jude Thanks and Giving.
To learn more about St. Jude, visit www.stjude.org.