A fundraiser that used social triggers to exceed donation goals by 50%

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Harvesters – The Community Food Network reached out for help to brand its two-day fundraising event

Harvesters – The Community Food Network reached out for help to brand its two-day fundraising event. We delivered a look and feel along with a strategic approach that helped sell out the event while nudging patrons to increase donations throughout the gala.


After a two-year hiatus, Harvesters’ largest fundraising event of the year was returning with a new name, format and location. Generating interest while shining a spotlight on hunger would be challenging. COVID had dominated the headlines and made it difficult to get the public to care about other social issues.


Adding a bit of fun to enlighten people on a serious issue makes it more digestible and harder to ignore.


We’ve all seen the face of hunger. But how could we bring interest to the cause while making it lighthearted enough to get people on board? Enter the beasts – our way to remind people that hunger is truly a monster of a problem. By keeping it light, we generated more excitement and, in turn, more donations.

But it didn’t stop with a look and feel. We built a habit loop. We designed triggers throughout the event to increase donations and nudge patrons to take action. A QR code on the back of masks allowed quick, discreet donations. An audio cue (in the form of a monster growl – which was also a metaphor for growling stomachs) played over the speakers and prompted patrons to repeatedly open their wallets throughout the event.

Behavioral science states that habits are formed by the cue, the response and the reward. This experience created the “cue” with the growling monster, which made people pause and think about donating, if they hadn’t done it already (response), and then receive the shout-outs/praise (reward) when they did.


The approach worked. The event was a monstrous success, selling out quickly while far exceeding donation goals. We even found that the audio triggers increased donations the exact moment they were played.

• 15% rise in newsletter open rates
• $500K total donations exceeded
• +50% Friday fundraising goal