Why Spectrum Science remade its holiday card into a bag

The healthcare marketing firm wants others to donate food this holiday season.

Spectrum launched the campaign in part because food insecurity is on the rise.

What if a holiday card could become a bag rather than something you eventually toss in a trash or recycling bag?

That was part of the idea behind a charitable campaign from healthcare-focused marketing agency Spectrum Science.

The company’s creatives not only wanted to produce cards that could become bags but also to encourage people to use those bags to bring food and clothing to donation centers around the country.

“The whole idea is that you're taking this greeting card and turning it into a pay-it-forward,” said Amanda Peck, SVP of business development at Spectrum Science.

The agency, based in Washington, DC, launched the Give Card campaign this month as food banks across the country are seeing increased demand due to inflation and rising food costs. The number of people in the U.S. experiencing food insecurity increased from 19.9 million in October 2021 to 25.7 million a year later according to an analysis from Hunger Free America, a nonprofit anti-hunger organization. 

People are also donating less food, according to news reports

Spectrum is trying to change that by distributing the Give Card bags and conducting a digital fundraising campaign. The firm is promoting the push on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and encouraging its 300 employees to promote the bags too. 

People can order the bags online. The item is a card made from a sturdy, recyclable paper, Peck said, which can be unfolded into a bag.

The bag features a QR code connected to the campaign website, where people can search for nearby donation centers, learn about recommended donation items, donate to nonprofits selected by Spectrum employees and view social media content about the campaign.

During previous holiday seasons, the company sent an email “to our contacts, that we would drive to a microsite that had something kind of cool or interesting or creative on it,” Peck said. “This year, we just said, ‘Let's blow it out of the water and add all these different components to it.’”

The firm’s staff is also volunteering with Bread for the City, a local anti-poverty organization.

“They have highlighted to us that they are seeing a real increase in need for food,” Peck said.

Agency employees also receive a daily email from Good Today, a platform that curates nonprofits for people seeking to give back. The employees click on which group they would like to support, and each time, Spectrum donates 25 cents, Peck said. Once a month, the company increases the amount to $5. The company has provided more than $10,000 this year and plans to donate as much as $10,000 for the holiday campaign, Peck said.  

“I think what people have gotten really excited about is how it shows how strong our commitment to [CSR is],” Peck said. “I hope it's something that we could show to clients and they could get excited about it, too, and say, ‘It’s cool that this agency doesn't shy away from a challenge or from doing something in a totally new, different way.”

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