Last month, The Learning Experience donated $540,000 to Make-A-Wish America to grant wishes for children diagnosed with critical illnesses. The donation came from our national fundraising campaign called “2019 Bubbles’ Road to Wishes.”
Over 200 of our franchise centers and system-wide employees across the country came together for the second year of our campaign — raising money through online donations, local community events, and activities like wish walls, silent art auctions, trunk-or-treats, and more throughout the month of October.
As donations were being raised by franchisees, teachers, preschoolers, and families, our fun-loving brand mascot “Bubbles the Elephant” took the children on an educational adventure across America, teaching them about different destinations through arts and crafts, interactive videos, colorful maps, and games.
Along the way, characters from our philanthropy curriculum, “Charity Chihuahua” and “Grace the Greyhound,” taught children that it’s not how big or small you are, it’s the size of your heart that matters. The philanthropy curriculum, which was created in partnership with Make-A-Wish Southern Florida, is designed to continuously teach children the value and application of helping others in class, at home, and in their communities.
As an educational childcare franchise serving over 27,000 kids from 6 weeks to 6 years of age across the country, we recognize that making a positive difference in the lives of others is one of the biggest life lessons we can teach children which will impact them far beyond the ABC’s and 123’s.
While philanthropy is a continuous subject taught in all of our centers, the “Bubbles’ Road to Wishes” national fundraising campaign demonstrates the powerful impact franchises have when coming together and leveraging their communities for social good. Not only is giving back good for the communities where we live and work, it’s also good for franchise brands on a multitude of levels, including:
Brand Awareness — This may be one of the obvious benefits of giving back, but it cannot be understated. Not only does your brand boost awareness among current audiences, you can also increase awareness among perspective customers, employees, and franchisees by sharing your philanthropic initiatives through social media, traditional media, and blog articles. By purposefully sharing your philanthropic stories, you can spread awareness and reach wider audiences that increasingly favor businesses that give back.
Community Engagement — Giving back provides an incredible opportunity for franchise businesses to elevate their brand identity, build stronger relationships, and inspire involvement in their local communities. For example, one of our franchisees in Edison, New Jersey, hosted the nationwide kick-off event for “2019 Bubbles’ Road to Wishes” which raised over $1,000 and was attended by the city commissioner, business partners, families, local news media, and, of course, Bubbles.
System-Wide Activism — While all our franchisees host monthly events to raise money and donate goods to various nonprofits in their direct communities as part of our philanthropy curriculum, our national campaign provides each franchisee and system-wide employees with a platform to rally around and make an even greater impact for a single charitable cause.
As franchise organizations, the structure of our business models put us in a unique position to directly connect with local communities around the world, scale our philanthropic initiatives, and make a positive difference in the lives of others. And while traditional marketing strategies are always available for franchise businesses to help their brand grow, nothing is as inspiring or rewarding as giving back.
Brad Wahl is the Senior Vice President of Brand for The Learning Experience, a nationwide educational childcare franchise. As the SVP of Brand, Wahl leads The Learning Experience’s overall brand experience, strategy, and execution across all marketing channels.
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