United Way Case Study


  • United Way Toronto & York Region
  • CN Tower Climb for United Way


The annual CN Tower Climb for United Way celebrated their 40th Anniversary in 2017. United Way engaged The Collective to develop the new CN Tower Climb Event/Fundraising Strategy for Implementation, with the goal of:

1. Creating a greater connection to cause
2. Generating more fundraising dollars
3. Attracting more Climbers


The Collective’s strategic planning division, RAW, led a Discovery session to ideate, consider and develop the 2017 CN Tower Climb Event/Fundraising Strategy. Our Discovery approach consisted of a co-determined series of conversations that were meant to provide clarity around an Event/Brand Strategy Platform that supported the organization’s mission and new event/fundraising strategy. United Way’s primary internal stakeholders, charged with the responsibility for implementation, participated in the session. These included past participants (both corporate and public), sponsors, event staff and administration.


  • The Discovery session findings confirmed the following Event Goal: To raise awareness and support for the United Way as it helps people climb above their personal challenges and in turn, strengthen community.
  • The purpose of the event was to ignite a movement, leading community from challenge to victory.
  • We needed to create a visual and physical public expression of community that brought to life the United Way cause and enabled anyone who was seeking a pathway to help communities reach their full potential.
  • Based on the above findings, The Collective and their creative partner, Aegis, developed a new Brand name, Identity and Messaging for the 2017 CN Tower Climb.
  • #Up4Community became the new tagline for the event with a focus on ‘Up’ as the new identity and main message. The simplicity of the word ‘Up’ delivered purity of purpose and claimed a piece of public parlance. It also worked to support United Way of Toronto and York Region’s new brand campaign ‘Uprising of Care’ asking people to join in to help build a community where poverty has no power.
  • In an effort to attract new participants and generate more fundraising dollars, a digital media campaign was launched. The campaign consisted of digital display and paid social media advertising as well as Captivate Media.


  • Fundraising increased 27% over the previous year.
  • #up4community trended on Twitter in Canada & Toronto on event days, resulting in an increase in impressions of 294% of the previous year.
  • Event registrations increased 29% over the previous year.
  • Exit survey reported that 96% of respondents indicated that they would participate in the event again.