#1SmallStepForCancer: Gozoop & 1SmallStep Foundation go digital to build an INR 1 Crore emergency fund for child cancer

The digitally driven crowdfunding campaign leveraged celebrities, influencers and cancer cure stakeholders to successfully raise Rs. 1CR emergency fund with a virtually zero marketing budget


Child cancer is a dreaded disease but what’s even more dreadful is the statistics around it. Despite the best medical facilities available in India, the survival rate is as low as 30%, compared to 80% in developed countries. Abandonment rates due to financial and emotional burden amongst low income families is as high as 40%. And 90% of these abandonments happen in the first month of treatment.

This is because, while many funds for cancer treatment exist, their deployment can take time. There is little space in the system to offer financial aid to patients in the interim. The solution is elegant and simple – Create a discretionary Emergency Fund to provide interim funding to families who would otherwise abandon cancer treatment for the child.

To build an Emergency Fund, 1SmallStep Foundation and Gozoop embarked on a 6-week-long crowdfunding campaign called ‘#1SmallStepforCancer’. The digitally driven campaign leveraged celebrities, influencers and cancer cure stakeholders to successfully raise Rs. 1 crore to help 1,000 children survive cancer. Interestingly, ‘#1SmallStepforCancer’ was executed with a virtually zero marketing budget!

The campaign adopted an integrated approach with a three-pronged marketing objective – a) Raise awareness, b) Spread the message, and c) Inspire tangible action. The main mediums of communication were social platforms, content publications, website and email marketing. The first step was celebrity selection. Celebrities who are known for their philanthropic side, or have had personal experiences with “the big C” were chosen as ambassadors, namely: Emraan Hashmi, Johnny Lever, Varun Dhavan and Shilpa Shetty Kundra. Also, their fan base on social media would ensure a larger reach organically.

The team at Gozoop chose video as the main method of reaching out to people. Steering clear from the much used imagery of patients in distress, it chose simple requests conveyed through the chosen celebrities. The idea stemmed from the belief that every patient deserves both respect and dignity, Besides, the team wanted to strike a balance between logic and emotion.

The campaign was executed in phases revolving around each of the core celebrities. Commencing with a video by Emraan Hashmi, followed by a video from Varun Dhawan and culminating with a video from Shilpa Shetty, the series got each one taking #1SmallStepForCancer and urging others to do the same.

Emraan makes a heartfelt request in this Facebook video, his son had bravely battled and survived paediatric cancer.


#1SmallStepForCancer, a multi-week campaign starts today. The first personality to kickstart it is Emraan Hashmi. As a token of gratitude, a select few donors shall receive Emraan Hashmi memorabilia.Log onto www.1SmallStepForCancer.com and support the cause. Rotary Club of Mumbai Queens Necklace will match the amount to double the impact. T&C applied: http://bit.ly/2f1vBzN*

1SmallStepさんの投稿 2017年9月5日(火)

No one can beat Johnny Lever in conveying a message like the way it should be.

Johny Lever takes #1SmallStepForCancer

You've always seen the funny side of Johny Lever, but this plea will leave you emotional.Join #1SmallStepForCancer by contributing on www.1SmallStepForCancer.com

1SmallStepさんの投稿 2017年9月14日(木)

Shilpa shares the appalling statistics associated with survival rates of child cancer patients.

Each of these videos were posted on the 1SmallStep social media assets as well as on the celebrity’s pages.

Additionally, a website was built serving as the hub of the campaign where all potential contributors would learn about the cause and where they could donate. The user interface was designed to ease the user experience for potential donors, while considering load times were kept in check. Along with the primary social media channels, Whatsapp was also integrated to encourage social sharing and awareness.

Additionally a 3-step, one page checkout process allowed the team to track contributor data, and reach out to contributors that abandoned the donation mid-way via email marketing.

At times to make a difference, all it takes is 1 Small Step. #1SmallStepForCancer now has 500+ supporters. Join us: http://www.1SmallStepForCancer.com Varun Dhawan

1SmallStepさんの投稿 2017年9月13日(水)

The campaign also partnered with Milaap, one of India’s eminent crowd donation portals with a ready contributor base. The team not only reached out to donors from Milaap’s database through email, it  also engaged the ones that donated, keeping them abreast of the progress to inspire them to leverage their own personal network.

Along with coverage on print and digital publications, the team also ran support campaigns from influencers and brands such as AARYA 24KT: Let’s Get Gold, Regal Shoes, Kwench Engagement Redefined, Kidsstoppress and Rotary Club of Mumbai Queen’s Necklace.

Keeping it simple

The #1SmallStepForCancer campaign stayed true to its hashtag, enabling all willing stakeholders to contribute via small steps. Employing video with to-the-point messages conveyed by the celebrities is a breath of fresh air from the smog of emotion-laden cancer afflicted stories of low income families. Perhaps such campaign films do work at the ad awards because jury is just as human as can be, but the real result of a social cause marketing campaign lies in the donations it is able to successfully raise.

The campaign managed to build an emergency fund of INR 10,219,250 from 1023 donations. The thoughtfully designed website coupled with the influencer videos and Milaap’s ready donor base served to build the fund rupee by rupee. The use of social media and strategic email marketing ensured maximum reach and call to action.

#1SmallStepForCancer with its interesting marketing mix of social media, influencer marketing, direct emails, digital PR, analytics and online crowdfunding tools, goes on to prove that campaigns with nearly zero marketing budgets, specially social cause ones, can also rake in the desired results, if only it is planned and executed accordingly.