JDRF Case Study

For more than 40 years, JDRF has been working to cure, treat and prevent type 1 diabetes and its complications in Canada and around the world. The organization is committed to helping make insulin and other life-saving diabetes supplies available to all, as well as promoting community engagement to support families experiencing a type 1 diabetes diagnosis.

JDRF logo

The Challenge

There are two primary peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns that JDRF oversees each year: Sunlife Walk to Cure Diabetes and Sunlife Ride to Defeat Diabetes.

For both of these key events, JDRF traditionally offered a mix of both physical and digital incentives for participants when they met certain fundraising targets.

But using physical goods for fulfillment presents a few challenges. Firstly, it was often difficult to know how much inventory to order, especially when it came to clothing that came in various sizes. And because donors change for the fundraising events each year, it’s not possible to reuse stock from one year to the next. Leftover stock means wasted funds that could have been directed elsewhere within the organization. Secondly, there are fulfillment costs like storage and shipping costs for physical goods that can add up quickly for large, country-wide fundraising events.

When the pandemic hit, JDRF staff began working from home and could no longer fulfill the physical rewards for participants, which meant a new approach was needed.

The Solution

Prior to the pandemic, JDRF had been using the Gratiflow platform to manage the digital element of its incentive fulfillment. But when COVID-19 impacted their ability to send out physical rewards, the team decided to switch to a fully digital gift card fulfilment solution.

The JDRF team was surprised to learn that beyond sending out gift cards to participants on their behalf, Gratiflow also designed and built custom-branded marketing assets to support the campaign. This included email templates and landing pages with their branding and sponsor logos. This added service meant JDRF didn’t need to get their internal design team involved, speeding up the fulfillment process and saving money along the way.

But by far the most valuable part of the Gratiflow solution was one of their newest features called Multi-Denomination, Multiple Merchants (MDMM) gift cards. This feature allowed participants to split their reward amount across multiple vendors in different denominations. So, for example, if you were rewarded with $100 in gift cards, you could redeem $50 from Amazon, $25 from Boston Pizza and $25 from Best Buy.

The Results

While participants were always able to donate back their reward in full to JDRF, the MDMM feature allowed participants to donate back a portion of their reward. In the past, if a participant was rewarded with $100 in gift cards, they would have to either donate all of it or redeem all of it.

But with the option to donate a portion of their reward, JDRF saw a considerable increase in participants splitting their reward and donating part of it back to the the cause.

The cost savings over physical fulfillment has also been a huge advantage for the team. What’s more, the platform’s reporting feature has provided invaluable insights about their participants – including redemption behaviour and trends – that wasn’t available to them previously with physical incentives.

The platform has also made customer service incredibly easy. The Gratiflow system is linked up to a central inbox the JDRF team has direct access to, meaning they can respond quickly to participant inquiries.

“We’ll never move away from utilizing Gratiflow. They’ve gone above and beyond providing great customer service to us, and as a result, to our participants. I really appreciate working with a vendor that I can count on.”
– Katie Von Hansen, National Manager, Event Fundraising at JDRF/FRDJ Canada