United Breast Cancer Foundation

UBCF's Breast Cancer COVID Grant Program proves a big hit

Early in the COVID Pandemic, the United Breast Cancer Foundation (UBCF) chose to work with Reward the World™ as part of UBCF’s COVID Grant Program to provide breast cancer patients and survivors with online gift cards and other online offerings to help lessen stress and make sheltering at home easier. Apparently, according to Ken Petterson, Sr. VP Donor Engagement and Philanthropy at UBCF this proved to be quite a bit hit during the lockdowns and in particular where people were shielding.

Ken has very kindly dropped us a note to tell us about how it’s been received. We look forward to continuing to work with Ken and UBCF to improve our service and make it easier for UBCF to continue to do such a good job for breast cancer patients and survivors in the US.


United Breast Cancer Foundation is a Guidestar platinum-rated, national nonprofit organization and our mission is to make a positive difference in the lives of those affected by breast cancer. We offer 8 life-supporting programs to the breast cancer community, serving thousands of women, men, and families each year. UBCF’s COVID Grant Program provides breast cancer patients and survivors online gift cards and other online offerings to help lessen stress and make sheltering at home easier during these difficult times, especially for those with compromised immune systems.

UBCF Covid-grantUBCF chose to work with Reward the World™ early in the COVID Pandemic. We were looking for new ways to support our clients as they struggled with breast cancer, the fear of being exposed to COVID, and the need to shelter in place. We wanted to add an online “care package” to our program offerings for our clients.

UBCF created the Covid Grant Program which is an online process from beginning to end. Clients complete an online application and receive an online award. We send clients an award email that includes access to 6 Free eMovie Rentals and 3 Free eBooks from Reward the World™’s rewards platform, along with other gifts. UBCF clients love the fact that they have the ability to choose movies and books that appeal to them personally. Clients share what a thoughtful and useful gift these items are as they are able to read or watch movies instantly while sitting and receiving treatments, or when they are at home recovering from treatments or surgeries.

UBCF clients frequently share their words of gratitude after receiving the movies and eBooks:

“Thank you soooo much! I will enjoy my free movies or reading during my treatment.”

“Thank you, thank you, thank you! I really can’t thank you enough for these generous gifts. I’m finishing the last 3 of my 35 radiation treatments and have been a little fatigued lately. This has really perked me up and made my day. Thank you and your foundation for all that you do. The gift card, the free movies, and ebooks are such [a] blessing.“

“OMG, I have to write to the Foundation telling them how appreciative I am for this assistance at such a difficult time! It’ll be so nice to try to relax a bit with a movie or a book! This is just awesome”

“Thank you so much. I love how you gave me ebooks and movies and other options as well, those are definitely a treat and I wasn’t expecting that.”

“I can’t wait to check out the movies and books as well. It feels like getting a hug. Thank you so so much!”

Placing orders with Reward the World™ has been simple and the turnaround time to receive the codes for products has been remarkably fast. Customer support has been reliable and UBCF feels like a valued partner. Accessing the gifts has been a simple process, and if UBCF or our clients need any help, Reward the World™ customer service is ready to assist. Thank you, Reward The World™ for helping us help so many during such a dark time.

Disintermediation – the digital marketer’s latest challenge?

Disintermediation – the digital marketer’s latest challenge?

During the COVID lockdowns we have seen disintermediation manifest itself in many ways as brands have switched comprehensively to online sales and direct shipping to compensate for the enforced shutdown of the physical retail channel for many sectors. In a strange twist of fate this has also been a boon for digital marketers as they have reaped a huge harvest of first-party data resulting from a tsunami of consumers registering to buy online. Who among us has not noticed that every attempt is made to get the consumer to register, opt-in and/or subscribe during the online purchasing process, the ‘proceed as a guest’ option often being hard to access – where available?

Why is this such a windfall for the marketer, if less so for the consumer?
Answer – third-party data bad, first-party data good.

The combination of EU GDPR and various consumer privacy regulations such as the proposed California Consumer Privacy Act basically outlaws the sharing of third-party data, on which much marketing activity, and online advertising, currently relies. The annoying, but necessary, cookie opt-in button which flashes across our screens every time we visit a website is a prime example of the increasing regulation in this area.

More than just disintermediation – a direct online relationship is more important than ever.

As a result, every brand and every channel more than ever wants/needs to establish a direct online relationship with the consumer to track buying habits, build-out demographic profiles, and of course encourage us all to buy or revisit more often. Hence the joy of brand marketers at our headlong rush to buy direct. Or maybe not?

Annoyingly for some, you might have noticed during your online search for products that ecommerce behemoth Amazon always seems to be trying to insert itself into the online buying journey and re-intermediate itself. Complex environment this disintermediation game – for all involved.

We as consumers want instant gratification.

But similarly, we as consumers can be equally fickle – we want instant gratification while simultaneously hating the hoops we must jump through to navigate a purchase or a subscription through to checkout and beyond. So, we need to be seduced, persuaded, or otherwise cajoled into jumping through those hoops.

A common technique, used by online publishers like the FT is to offer 3 or 4 free articles before raising the paywall.  Another is to offer incentives such as digital gift cards or a unique online voucher giving one-off or limited free access to digital downloads such as games, videos and eBooks as part of the personal data exchange. These are examples of what McKinsey calls the ‘value exchange’ in their recent article on The demise of third-party cookies and identifiers. A good point to remember here is that value is defined by the consumer who will inevitably be turned off by below-par rewards in this value exchange. A point we will visit in an upcoming post.

Interestingly this rewards technique is increasingly being used by brands to reach across the intermediary boundary by printing unique voucher codes on product packaging or wrapping. This enables the collection of first-party data from the consumer regardless of the distribution channel while also incentivising the consumer to connect with the brand directly. Our recent use-case, “Identifying and engaging with the casual magazine buyer is a good example of this.

Building and developing first-party customer data is key.

Whichever way you look at it, building and developing first-party customer data is now key to building a better understanding of customer needs and behaviour while overcoming increasing consumer reluctance to provide that personal data.

If you are currently facing any of the above disintermediation challenges and looking to encourage, reward, or otherwise incentivise consumers to sign-up, register, or subscribe to a relationship chat with us now to explore how we might help.