Sticky Notes Focus Of VIU Marketing Team's Fundraising Efforts

Marketing 362’s Sales Force 1 team raised more than $2,000 in the annual class challenge. Pictured left to right: Spencer Mengual, Elena Savenko, Stacy Trahan (front), Krista Meckelborg, Samantha McLean, Brandon Ashcraft, Raff Bavaro, Andrew Nixon, Maile-Rae Hamilton. Not pictured: Mike Anderson

April 7, 2016 - 2:00pm

VIU marketing class raises more than $3,000 for charity

With stacks of yellow sticky notepads in hand, 56 Vancouver Island University (VIU) students from Professional Selling (Marketing 362) descended on the Nanaimo campus with one goal – to use the tools they were given in the course to raise money for charity.  

After forming five teams they spent time developing a marketing strategy and plan for success.  For the challenge, they are given one hour and 20 minutes to sell sticky notes on campus in an effort to raise as much money as possible. And while teams are graded on their ingenuity, planning, execution and of course, final results the underlying goal is to do the best they can for the charity they choose to represent.

“The students realize very quickly that the challenge isn’t about selling a sticky note. Most people walking across campus don’t need a sticky note,” said VIU marketing professor, Duane Weaver.

“What they realize is most people want to help students so it comes down to details. People value different charities so the charities they choose matters. Where they set up to sell and what unique tools they can utilize to reach more people while following the rules of the competition are also what determine success.”

The teams with names like Wolves of Fifth Street, Team Smiles and International Flavour can only sell on campus to real people – no soliciting donations from friends and family if they can’t come in person. They set up in places like the library, the bus round-about and other high traffic areas. After the buzzer sounded to end the competition it was team Sales Force 1 that raised the most money – $2,042 for the Make A Wish Foundation.

It was the most money any one team has raised in the nine years Weaver has been doing the challenge. He says Sales Force 1 was successful because they used their networks and social media skills to convince people to come to the campus to donate.

“What I enjoy is seeing how the well prepared teams connect what they learn in class to the task they are embarking on. When everything works, great things happen and our students learn so much through the process,” said Weaver.

Raffaele Bavaro was the Sales Force 1 team captain. He says the planning stage was the most difficult part.

“It took many hours to come together and create a plan that we thought would be the most effective. Our team’s main strategy was to be open, honest and energetic about truly helping to make a child’s wish come true,” said Bavaro. “It was heartwarming to find out we were able to raise so much for charity in such a short amount of time. Achieving that goal is an experience we will all remember for years to come.”

The five teams together raised $3,242.87 which went to BC Children’s Hospital Foundation, BC SPCA (Nanaimo Branch), Haven Society and of course Make A Wish Foundation. Since the challenge began, VIU’s Professional Selling students have raised more than $30,000 for charity.

Weaver says through the wide range of applied experiential education marketing courses they offer, students get to work with non-profit organizations, charities and Vancouver Island businesses in need of marketing strategies which leads to a unique educational experience.

“What we strive to do is offer exceptional applied learning and real life experiences to our students,” said Weaver. “Our Professional Selling class emulates this and our capstone course ‘Strategic Marketing 460’ allows students to earn the right to work directly with real businesses in need of marketing strategies. Overall, we believe we provide an educational experience that is second to none.”

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Tags: Student Success