Hyundai Hope on Wheels chooses Ruder Finn in multimillion-dollar bid

LOS ANGELES: Hyundai Hope on Wheels, a nonprofit the automaker's dealers manage in an effort to award local grants to fight childhood cancer, hired Ruder Finn for a three-year bid with a budget totaling over a million dollars.

LOS ANGELES: Hyundai Hope on Wheels, a nonprofit the automaker's dealers manage in an effort to award local grants to fight childhood cancer, hired Ruder Finn for a three-year bid with a budget totaling over a million dollars.

Referring to the impetus for the competitive review, Zafar Brooks, director of government relations and diversity outreach at Hyundai Motor America, said that aside from the culmination of incumbent Allison & Partners' three-year contract, the organization has grown much larger than it was a few years ago, with the ability to grant up to $10 million a year.

Ruder Finn's budget, in the mid- to high-six-figure range per year, will be part of the 12% of the collected grants allocated for operating expenses, he said.

According to a source familiar with the review, the final review involved five agencies, including Allison & Partners.

“We recognized that we have gone from being a grant-making organization to now being a proper nonprofit,” he said. “We wanted to provide an opportunity for the Hope on Wheels foundation to have leadership that could ultimately help us continue in our mission for helping to find cures for cancer so we put out a national RFP.”

He added, “[Allison & Partners] was great and did fantastic work to give us guidance and direction on the program.”

In its search, the organization was looking for an agency with national reach and experience in managing CSR and nonprofit activities.

Ruder Finn will support existing grant-related programs; help the organization expand to communities in about 40 states; and aim to raise awareness of the fact that childhood cancer is the leading cause of death of children.

“We've never advertised or told anybody outside the dealer body what we're doing, but two years ago we learned that one thing we know how to do well is help communicate these issues,” he said. “It's a significant public health issue and unfortunately we, as society, haven't really told that story.”

Joe Foster, VP at Ruder Finn, will lead the account out of Los Angeles. He will manage a team of associates from the company's offices in San Francisco, Chicago, Denver, DC, and New York.

The organization turned what had been a corporate philanthropy effort since 1998 into a nonprofit in 2007. 

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