A not-for-profit out of Canada was seeking marketing advisory to help develop a stronger case for support.

As chance would have it, I stumbled across a website called Taproot. Which has the claim that it “connects not-for-profits with skilled volunteers to build stronger organizations”.

In early 2024, I loaded my profile up to see what would happen. With the aim of offering pro bono strategic marketing advice where needed.

A couple of days later an opportunity popped up from the International Retinoblastoma Consortium (IRBC). A not-for-profit for people affected by Retinoblastoma.

I had no idea what Retinoblastoma was, until ‘Dr Google’ enlightened me. A rare type of eye cancer occurring in young children that develops in the retina – the light-sensitive lining at the back of the eye.

Retinoblastoma - case for support

My gut feel – a different angle on the case for support was needed

Something felt right about this opportunity.

Maybe it was me having 5 children (who are thankfully all healthy).

Or having a brother-in-law, Professor Peter Van Wijngaarden, who is an ophthalmologist and medical scientist at The Centre for Eye Research Australia (CERA). He’s currently researching how retinal imaging can be used to detect people who are at risk of Alzheimer’s disease before the onset of dementia.

I’m not sure what it was. However, something just struck a chord with me.

So, it was a big yes.

I threw my hat in the ring, and after a screening call and introduction, I was off and running.

They are a fantastic team, led by Dr Brenda Gallie.

Dr. Gallie is an ophthalmologist at The Hospital for Sick Children, Paediatric Ocular Oncologist at Alberta Children’s Hospital, Professor at the University of Toronto, and Affiliated Scientist and Lead of Health Informatics Research in the University Health Network Techna Institute.

And in In 2014, was appointed to the Order of Canada in recognition of her pioneering research in retinoblastoma.

She’s a real mover and shaker, and I focussed the overall brand personality around her.

The “innovative rebel“.

The person who creates a better way to leave a positive mark on the world.

Dr Brenda Gallie - Retinoblastoma - case for support for IRBC

Dr Gallie has been focussed on all aspects of this rare children’s eye cancer (Retinoblastoma), since 1974.

We explored all the background documentation, stage they were at, and current progress. And then agreed a way forward to develop a stronger positioning that would galvanise their efforts.

Something that they could rally behind and our target audiences could emotionally connect with.

A position out of which a case for support could be developed to pitch to the right high net worth and philanthropic donors, and investors.

After interviewing the team, Doctors, patients and parents, I had a solid view of where they could go.

We workshopped though opportunities to build on the truth of IRBC’s work.

They had developed the first patient centric, cloud based, communication tool that would change the world for the better.

An e-health tool called Depict Health.

Depict Health by IRBC - case for support for Retinoblastoma cancer journey

The problem – a complex issue to solve, let alone explain

Retinoblastoma involves many circles of care.

It’s an extremely rare cancer, but also one of the most complex in terms of people involved.

From of course the parents (or legal guardians), and family doctor. To nurses, oncologists, radiologists, ophthalmologists, ocularists, pathologists, radiologists, counsellors, social workers and more.

The issue is that the information on the patient’s care journey sits in different systems at each of the touch points. Often across multiple locations, different institutions, and with varying degrees of detail and access.

In short, a frustrating experience at each stage for everyone involved.

The solution – a more aligned and emotionally engaging case for support

In developing Depict Health, the IRBC team have created a breakthrough.

They’ve been able to close the dysfunctional and disjointed information gaps, by alleviating all breakdowns of access to information across a cancer patient’s care journey. No matter where or who they are.

It’s a legal, secure, and privacy compliant, all-in-one system with a visual timeline for ease of viewing. Clickable at each time series throughout a patient’s journey of care to reveal the relevant detail.

It also allows the healthcare and medical industries to gather empirical evidence to knowledge share globally. To help develop better guidelines, better treatments, and ultimately deliver better outcomes.

That’s a win on every level. And a game changer that leaves the world in a better place.

We’ve now refined the market position, purpose, mission, vision, values and brand personality. The next stage is to craft the compelling case for support document and other marketing materials.

It’s an exciting time. And I’m humbled by their kind words:

We spent 5+ years developing a complex e-health tool. As we prepared to go to market it was clear that we were deeply stuck in the science and technical nuances of our project and ill equipped to find a clear concise vision for our marketing plan. Front Foot Marketing guided us through a thought provoking – and at times challenging – exercise over several weeks that resulted in a very clear strategy and marketing plan for the next steps of our project. Front Foot Marketing demonstrate a unique blend of creativity, innovation alongside a keen eagerness to help and commitment to actually learn about our work and what drives our team. We are extremely satisfied with the end product. In this, I feel we gained a true partner in Front Foot Marketing; I genuinely feel they are invested in our success. Thank you for all of your help!

Kaitlyn Flegg, Program Manager at The Hospital for Sick Children

Like to make history too?

Depict Health overcomes dysfunctional and disjointed patient care information record keeping by being an all in one system.

It also has AI and machine learning capability for mass data analysis.

And as you can see from above, the team at IRBC is excited about the new position and expression of their story.

They’re now looking for next stage investment, and/or high net worth donors interested to leave a legacy of good in the world, with the history making technology that will roll out of Canada.

If you’re interested to meet the team at IRBC, or know someone who may be interested to donate or invest, then please touch base with me here. I’d be delighted to introduce you.