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Associations Now

Idea Bank: A Calendar Drives Your Mission Year-Round

ASSOCIATIONS NOW, March/April 2014 Money & Business

By: Rob Stott

Summary: A 2014 calendar is a win-win-win for local businesses, a comedy festival, and the Liberty Humane Society.

What's the great idea? A calendar featuring dogs and comedians at local businesses

Who's doing it? The Liberty Humane Society

What's involved? New Jersey-based LHS already produces an annual calendar that features adoptable animals, but by partnering with the Hoboken Comedy Festival, the group saw an opportunity to reach a whole new audience and highlight popular destinations and local businesses in the city. "

This was a great way for us to partner with the comedy festival and get people to remember both of our organizations throughout the entire year—and raise a little money for LHS as well," says Irene Borngraeber, executive director at LHS. "The idea was to shoot the comedians [with the dogs] in a funny location of their choice that also highlighted local businesses who sponsored the event."

LHS contacted former adopters to bring their dogs back for the series of photo shoots. The calendar was made available during the comedy festival in early October, and LHS continues to sell them onsite.

What are people saying? "The response has been really positive. … The way we look at marketing is, we're over the Sarah McLachlan stuff," says Borngraeber, referring to a long-running TV commercial focusing on animal abuse and featuring a McLachlan song. "We really want to engage people on a whole different level, and the way that we've chosen to do that is through positive associations—showing people interacting with animals."

Rob Stott is Assistant Editor at Associations Now in Washington, DC. Email:

[This article was originally published in the Associations Now print edition, titled "A Year of Laughs."]

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