In Part I of this series, I introduced you to NoMo, ringleader of ”SMAC! – Sock Monkeys Against Cancer,” a new and very determined gang of monkeys quickly organizing to help those with (or impacted by) cancer SMAC! this dang disease.
In this post – how YOU can bring NoMo and other SMAC! monkeys to life and into the arms of cancer patients, survivors, caretakers, friends, etc.
Recap of the Big Why?
There are few “constants” for those with cancer. My Mom and I believe everyone impacted by cancer deserves to hug snugly in their arms a constant, tangible source of comfort and support (with cancer fighting ‘tude) of the sock monkey kind.
Here’s my Mom’s story, her adventures with the SMAC! monkeys and the inspiration behind them from Part I.
The SMAC! mission is simple:
- Tangible Support – Always: Provide constant comfort, sock monkey “mojo” and a cancer-crushing companion to those wading through their cancer journey.
- Giving: My ultimate business model goal - One SMAC! = Two. When you buy a SMAC! monkey, one will be given to someone impacted by cancer (model to be executed once the company can financially sustain it).
- Create Social Change: By helping and giving to those impacted by cancer, you will also be contributing to advances in cancer research and programs (also once the company can financially sustain it).
So, doing good to create good - all bundled together in one package. But, the SMAC! monkeys need YOUR pledges to make all of this a reality.
How the Crowdfunding Campaign Works
I will soon be launching this campaign on the crowdfunding platform Start Some Good. Start Some Good connects social entrepreneurs with people/investors (YOU) who want to help make campaigns/projects a success. Here’s a link to a current project on SSG to give you a better understanding of how the platform works, if you aren’t familiar.
Once I place my campaign up on the Start Some Good platform, the pledging can begin. It will be a 30 day campaign to raise funds to launch the first batch of the SMAC! line, which so far includes NoMo (all-cancer monkey) and Phoenix (lung cancer monkey). My ultimate goal is to create a custom monkey for each type of cancer.
No money or monkeys can exchange hands until the campaign is complete…and successful (hint, hint). My campaign will outline a total fundraising goal, as well as a tipping point goal. The tipping point is the amount necessary to actually get the project off the ground. If I do not reach my tipping point, those who pledged get their money back. Cool, but we’re not going that route, right?
So, once my campaign tipping point has been reached, those who pledged will then be charged and additional funds pledged are applied to reaching the total fundraising goal. Ventures get to keep all funds raised beyond the tipping point even if they don’t reach their total goal. Extra cool.
Here’s one example:
$25 Pledge - Someone who pledges $25 to my campaign may receive an illustrated watercolor print of NoMo or Phoenix; a thank-you e-card, as well as their name listed on the website as a founding partner.
As a start-up, it is really impossible right now for me to pinpoint exactly when I can fully implement my One SMAC! = Two business model. However, I will put this model of giving into action during the campaign with a few options. For example:
$100 Pledge - You receive 2 SMAC! monkeys (NoMos and/or Phoenixs) to keep, plus all rewards associated with fundraising tiers leading up to $100.
$95 Pledge - You receive 2 SMAC! monkeys – One to keep and one to be given to someone impacted by cancer – plus all rewards associated with fundraising tiers leading up to $100. So, where does that other monkey go? I will have the honor of surprising a cancer patient/caregiver at the Nebraska Medical Center with your generous gift. Of course, I will send you a photo of the SMAC! monkey with his new cancer-fighting friend. Gives me goose bumps just thinking about it.
The giving options increase along with the fundraising tiers. All tiers and rewards will be spelled out in detail on the campaign platform once I have launched.
Yes, there is such a thing as conscious capitalism and I’m a big believer. “SMAC! Sock Monkeys Against Cancer” will operate under Jennifer Windrum Inc. as a socially conscious for profit company.
As TOMS Shoes has proven, combining a for-profit company with a social mission has been successful on many levels. The giving component of TOMS (“One for One”) makes its shoes more than just a product.
As founder Blake Mycoskie says in his book Start Something That Matters, ”They’re part of a story, a mission, and a movement anyone can join.” And, as a for-profit, there is the ability to do more good on a regular basis, by not having to rely on sporadic donations to stay afloat.
A to the Men, I say.
Post Campaign SMAC! Giving Priorities
One SMAC! = Two
Implementing the One SMAC! = Two business model of giving is my first priority after the campaign has launched. I will need to evaluate the first round and, obviously, have enough capital for additional inventory, distribution, etc., for the 2nd, 3rd (hopefully countless) rounds.
To do more than break even, I will re-evaluate production costs of the monkeys, as well as work to develop creative partnerships, such as corporate sponsorships to donate a certain amount per monkey sold. Once the company can financially sustain all start-up costs, ongoing operational costs and funds necessary to give away a SMAC! monkey for each one that is purchased, One SMAC! = TWO, will go into action.
Creating Social Change
Now, to the third component of the SMAC! mission: Creating social change. Following the implementation of One SMAC = Two, my next giving goal is to direct steady corporate donations to the following:
National Coalition of Oncology Nurse Navigators - I strongly believe every cancer patient should have a nurse navigator. Unfortunately, my Mom didn’t have one (and/or wasn’t aware she had access to one) during the first few years of her treatment. Her experience was a complete nightmare.
Oncology nurse navigators to assist patients and families receive essential support services that help ease the burdens during cancer treatment. SMAC! corporate donations can help improve the quality of life for cancer patients and their families.
Liz’s Legacy at the UNMC Eppley Cancer Center, one of 66 National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated cancer centers in the U.S., where some of the brightest scientists are working to bring results from the laboratory to the patients in the treatment center. SMAC! funding will be directed to lung cancer research.
Again, I wish I could be more specific about dollar amounts and timelines for implementing all of SMAC’s! philanthropic endeavors, but until I get through the campaign and get my company on its feet a bit, I would merely be shooting in the dark.
I’m a huge advocate for ensuring people understand where their money is going when they give to any cause – non-profit or for-profit. Please know I will be open, honest and forthcoming about where your SMAC! dollars will go throughout the start-up process and beyond.
My primary goal: Spread the SMAC! big time – create a global movement in the fight against cancer that, through giving, arms patients and others impacted by this disease with the latest and toughest gang of cancer-crushers.
My dream: Anyone who is diagnosed with cancer will get a SMAC! monkey not only from one of their friends or loved ones, but from their hospital. (Oh, the co-branding opportunities and more). Yeah, a lofty goal, but why dream small?
So, get your pledges ready. Tell your friends. Spread the SMAC!-age. (Campaign launch date to be announced soon.)
ps….You will need to create a PayPal account in order to make your pledge during the campaign. Don’t worry. It’s easy, painless and will be totally worth it.
pps…Feel free to hang out with the SMAC! monkeys. They kinda think they are social media super stars.