Who would have thought that the simple idea of supporting a great local charities by providing marketing tips would gain the support of 2,152 Torontonians & raise more than $20,000 donations … in just 5 events over 2 year!
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How Did It All Start?
In early 2012 Bassem Ghali (Founder & Head of Client Strategy at Green Lotus) wanted to give back to the community in a big way. With his expertise and network of marketing professionals, Bassem wanted to create an online marketing workshop and bring the community together in support of a local charity.
When Bassem shared this simple idea with friends Stephanie Abouatallah and Richard Marginson (social media mangers at Canadian Tire and Via Rail at time), their immediate interest and support led to the Donate & Learn initiative.
Case Study of the First Event:
Thanks to a powerful Promo Video that attracted more than 10k YouTube Views and 1.2k Facebook Likes/Shares in just 2 weeks; the Donate & Learn team was amazed by the rapidly growing community support.
More than 220 guests attended the sold-out event and we raised close to $3,800 for the YWCA Toronto!
An Unimaginable Turn of Events
In May 2013, in an unimaginable turn of events, the Donate & Learn initiative gained the support of GoDaddy an international industry leader in the online world. With GoDaddy as a major supporter, the Donate & Learn initiative grew exponentially!
Donate & Learn also gained the support of a top marketing expert in the USA, John Shehata (Executive Director of Search & Social, ABC News), who flew in from New York to show his support and was the keynote speaker at the May 2013 workshop, along with Sally Chung (Senior Account Manager, Large Customer Sales at Google Canada).
The Donate & Learn Workshop was sold out for a 2nd time with over 260 attendees and another $4,185 raised for the YWCA Toronto!
What an incredible event, you have truly put the fun back in fundraising.
The Donate & Learn is an amazing initiative bringing people together to experience learning
President & CEO Big Brothers Big Sisters of Toronto – Cathy Denyer
Meet Cupcake & Raoul!
The Workshop Grew into an Expo!
Running off the success of the past two events, we realized that the Donate & Learn initiative was rapidly growing and gaining traction in the community simply because of the core values of the Donate & Lean initiative – the positive impact on the community, with 100% donations going to a local charity, and the educational value provided by industry expert keynote speakers at Donate & Learn events.
In Dec 2013, we celebrated the 1st anniversary with a Donate & Learn Expo where over 450 attendees helped raise close to $10,000 for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Toronto.
Thanks to the additional support of the Ryerson University Enactus Team, the Expo was a great opportunity to network, meet industry experts from Microsoft Bing Ads, Marin Software and GoDaddy. A pre-event hands-on workshop was also hosted by GoDaddy and introduced small/medium businesses to it’s latest Website Builder Tools.
The June 2014 Donate & Learn Expo in partnership with Ryerson Enactus and the Digital Media Zone saw more than 500+ attendees eager to learn from marketing experts at some of Canada’s leading corporations including Proctor & Gamble, Bing Canada and LinkedIn.
Expo Sponsors included the Canadian Association of Marketing Professionals, Uniiverse, FreshBooks, YourHSA, EasyPromos who each hosted a pre-Expo workshop and TekSavvy who held the inaugural Meet the Experts session!
In December 2014 we celebrated the 2nd anniversary of Donate & Learn Initiative with a Party for small business owners in support of the YWCA Toronto. Sponsors included the Canadian Association of Marketing Professionals, Constant Contact and Kick Ass Media.
Keynote speakers included marketing experts from Constant Contact and Green Lotus, providing the latest trends in online marketing, email marketing and search engine optimization. The party celebrated the Beta launch of the Green Lotus SEO Tools!
Join the Conversation in the Facebook Comments Section Below:
GoDaddy is passionate about helping small businesses get online. Supporting the Donate & Learn Workshop benefits the YWCA and connects world-class speakers with small businesses. We couldn’t ask for a better partnership.
GoDaddy Executive Vice President Education and Event Marketing – Marianne Curran
The Donate & Learn Expo is an opportunity to not only interface with some of Toronto’s leading marketing professionals but also support local charities.
The event blew us out of the water!
Manager Special Events YWCA Toronto – Shana Hillman
The Donate & Learn concept is pure brilliance! We have all paid a fee to attend online marketing workshops, but the idea of a workshop that is free with a donation supporting such a great cause, is just inspiring!
ABC News Executive Director of Search & Social Media – John Shehata
Donate & Learn events are only possible with the support of attendees, volunteers, speakers, and our generous sponsors.
Thanks to our Sponsors and Corporate Supporters we are able to keep Donate & Learn events free of charge and direct 100% of attendee donations to our partnering charities!
Donate & Learn Initiative Founder – Bassem Ghali