18 Sep 2020

The Michael J. Fox Foundation launches seasonal giving campaign

Superunion designs campaign to create urgency around the need for research funding in the search for Parkinson's cure

To mark its 20th year, The Michael J. Fox Foundation - the world's largest nonprofit funder of Parkinson's research - today announces a new year-end fundraising campaign, shaping the foundation's approach to this very different season of giving. As the Parkinson's community, along with the rest of the world, continues to cope with the global pandemic, the HERE campaign - created to unify a message of hope and impact in Parkinson's research through a series of virtual events - has been designed in partnership with WPP global brand agency Superunion to galvanize energy and urgency around fundraising while also bringing the community together virtually and marking the tremendous progress the foundation has made in its short history. 

Launched in 2000, The Michael J. Fox Foundation is dedicated to accelerating a cure for Parkinson's disease and improved therapies for those living with the condition today. The Foundation pursues its goals through an aggressively funded, highly targeted research program coupled with active global engagement of scientists, Parkinson's patients, business leaders, clinical trial participants, donors and volunteers. 

The HERE campaign will consist of a series of fundraisers and virtual events that aim to share Michael's message of optimism, raise money for the foundation, and provide a chance for the community to come together during the pandemic. The HERE campaign will kick off with the 'Celebrate Science HERE' weekend from October 2nd to 5th 2020. Activation throughout this weekend centers around a virtual 5K and 10K run/walk and will be followed by a "Founders' Fireside Chat" featuring Michael J. Fox and co-founder Debi Brooks in conversation with Cliff Leaf, editor in chief of Fortune magazine. Registration for these events is available at michaeljfox.org/here

Superunion was tasked with developing a campaign concept to unite fundraising and engagement activity from October through year-end and create a sense of place for the Parkinson's community in a socially distanced world. Inspired by the organization's tagline, 'Here. Until Parkinson's isn't', also created by Superunion, the 'HERE' creative application is designed to celebrate the organization's active and ongoing commitment to curing and treating Parkinson's. The simple, direct and clear design of the visual treatment and language allows the HERE construct to be applied to any story within the campaign and bring it to life through this direction. 


Holly Teichholtz, Chief Marketing Officer at The Michael J. Fox Foundation, said: "Even 2020 hasn't quelled the profound progress taking place in Parkinson's research. Throughout this extraordinary year, and as we enter the season of giving, our foundation is working urgently on behalf of Parkinson's patients, families and researchers. We are deeply grateful to Superuion for their partnership in conceptualizing the HERE campaign and brining it to life for the benefit of everyone living with Parkinson's - and for their flexible pricing, which has allowed us to conserve our track record of efficiency, with 88 cents of every dollar we spend going straight to the research mission."

Sabah Ashraf, CEO, at Superunion, said: "Having worked closely with The Michael J. Fox Foundation since the start of 2019, we have seen first hand the life changing work it does, so we're delighted to be able to support them in reshaping what the most important giving season looks like in a remote world. 

While the pandemic has presented new challenges to the medical research world, it is vital that we do not overlook organizations that have been working tirelessly to help those with illnesses like Parkinson's. We chose the HERE direction as it is grounding in nature, which is so vital in a time when people are disconnected. HERE creates a sense of place and ownership for its community of donors, supporters, and medical researchers where they can engage with each other and feel connected."