Rise Up Strategies 5th Anniversary

January 10, 2022

Today, Rise Up Strategies celebrates its 5-year anniversary, and while we feel securely established, the journey is only just beginning. It’s not in our nature at Rise Up to boast about our successes, but perhaps we’ll make an exception once every five years and highlight some of the accomplishments we are most proud of.

Since our inception, we’ve had the privilege of working with dozens of clients across many sectors including renewable energy, financial services, private equity, think tanks, national non-profits and more. Our team of highly capable professionals relishes complex challenges and prides itself on offering unparalleled value.

Let’s take a look at a few highlights:

Salesforce Philanthropy Cloud

Rise Up Strategies began its journey on the shoulders of industry giants, Salesforce and United Way Worldwide. Salesforce, with its $300 Billion (CDN) market capitalization, joined forces with the largest charity in the world (by donations) with annual revenues of $6.2 Billion (CDN), to build a modern giving platform now known as Salesforce Philanthropy Cloud.

Rise Up Strategies was tasked with representing Canadian interests in this massive technology transformation project, culminating in Canada’s biggest United Ways and Centraides adopting the new platform. The technology was only one aspect of this work and Rise Up also lead the way in helping United Ways go beyond technology adoption to include a full digital transformation agenda including teaching prerequisites like data governance, security, digital marketing and how to build a digital-first culture.

Launch of the Canadian Debtors Association

Over the last five years, Rise Up Strategies has worked closely with companies supporting Canadians dealing with unsustainable consumer debt. Every month, thousands of Canadians file for bankruptcy or a consumer proposal. Currently, on average, Canadians owe $1.77 for every dollar of disposable income and this number continues to rise. If you look at the world as creditors and debtors, it doesn’t take long to realize that that deck is stacked in favour of the former: resources, information and influence are in abundance for creditors. On the other side of the ledger, consumers with cultural or language barriers, new Canadians experiencing a foreign banking system for the first time, or people pushed out of traditional banking are all at risk to a system stacked against them.

In 2018, Rise Up Strategies began working with its clients and partners to establish the Canadian Debtors Association (CDA) and provide a voice for Canadians in need. By bringing together multiple high-profile service providers in the consumer financial industry, the CDA quickly established a Debtor Bill of Rights and launched a comprehensive certification program for service providers across the country. The work is ongoing and the CDA will continue to advocate for debtor rights and ensure every Canadian experiencing unsurmountable debt receives the “fresh start” as promised to them in the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act.

Government of Canada Workplace Charitable Campaign

In 2017, Rise Up Strategies was asked to help a major national non-profit to renegotiate a 25-year-old agreement with the Government of Canada’s Treasury Board Secretariat. Every year, federal public servants from coast-to-coast-to-coast raise approximately $30 Million for Canadian charities. But the 1997 agreement that made this possible was out of date and did not allow for either party to unleash its full potential in pursuit of supporting charitable causes and communities in need.

Rise Up was tasked with rethinking the campaign from the ground up, culminating in a “Reset. Refresh. Reimagine.” proposal report outlining the best practices in modern campaign management. In late 2019, the Rise Up team, acting as lead negotiator, successfully completed a new interim agreement that not only complies with a dozen government directives, policies and Acts, but also allows for the adoption of new and innovative practices to advance the campaign’s objectives.

Covid-19 Response

When the pandemic hit in March 2020, Rise Up Strategies was fortunate to be working with a national group of physicians who were able to keep us apprised of the latest Covid-19 developments, which we, in turn, could communicate to all our clients.  The information cut through the many competing messages and was beneficial in giving our consumer-facing clients an edge in preparing and adapting to the new world realities.

Rise Up took it a step further by developing and launching a mobile-first, fully scalable, “COVID-19 Benefits Navigator” app, allowing both individuals and businesses to quickly determine the specific government programs that they were able to access. Given the fast pace of policy changes, the “Navigator” was updated daily and provided countless Canadians with quick, personalized information regarding the government programs best suited for them.

It was clear during the pandemic that small businesses were being impacted in often unpredictable ways. However, with the support of Invest Ottawa, and Ottawa’s own Shopify,  thousands of small businesses were able to adapt and move to an online-first model. Rise Up Strategies wanted to capture these compelling stories and launched a podcast entitled “Listen Up! Local”. These interview-style audio sessions allowed Rise Up to explore and share how small businesses are dealing with uncertainty and carving out new ways to innovate.

Everyone at Rise Up Strategies is grateful for our clients and the initiatives that we’ve been part of since our company’s inception. The last five years have undoubtedly thrown all of us many curveballs, but there is nothing quite as rewarding as working with talented professionals in pursuit of constant improvement and helping our clients succeed. Nothing would give us more pleasure than adding you and your company’s name to our growing list of clients and successes.

Happy 5th anniversary to everyone who made this journey possible. The best is yet to come!