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Fall Fundraising Success!

Marketing Research Education Foundation (MREF) Mobilizes the Marketing Research Industry to Help Provide Almost 3,000 Backpacks for Under-Resourced Students Throughout North America

Through partnerships with Kids in Need Foundation (U.S.) and Kits for A Cause (Canada) MREF’s 2020 Backpack Challenge is supporting students most in need .

Minneapolis, Minn. (October 23, 2020) – As school began in a variety of environments throughout North America, the Marketing Research Education Foundation (MREF) recognized the challenges for teachers and students, especially in under-resourced schools. The organization launched a matching campaign with the goal of purchasing backpacks for at least 2,000 students through Kids In Need Foundation (in the U.S.) and Kits for A Cause (Canada) giving them the opportunity to be prepared to learn – whether from the kitchen table or in the classroom.

The campaign, which ran through the end of September 2020 exceeded the stated goal, raising nearly $58,000 US in the United States and Canada. In the United States, nearly $20,000 was raised and then matched by the MREF for Kids in Need Foundation, while in Canada, AskingCanadians by Delvinia celebrated its 15th anniversary with a matching challenge that raised $10,000 US from donors in Canada, which both the company and MREF matched, for a total of $30,000 US to Kits for A Cause.

The campaign supports MREF’s mission to unify, inspire and activate the marketing research community to focus its collective resources to educate children and youth worldwide.

“I am so happy to see the marketing research industry come together again in support of vulnerable kids,” said Steve Schlesinger, MREF Board Chair. “We plan to make this an annual effort, with the hope that eventually this work won’t be needed.”

According to its 2019 Impact Report, KINF says roughly 15 million children in the U.S. and 1 in 5 children in Canada[i] currently live in poverty and are expected to attend school without the basic supplies they need to succeed. Teachers dedicated to serving these students face the added burden of funding much-needed supplies themselves, spending between one and two paychecks per year on resources for their classroom. Without students having the necessary tools to be successful in their classrooms and teachers equipped with materials they need to teach, it will continue to be a challenge to create equitable learning to break the cycle of poverty in these communities.

KINF’s Impact Report surveyed nearly 9,000 teachers, and found:

  • 91% of kids start the first day of school without all the necessary supplies

  • 92% do not have adequate supplies at home to complete schoolwork

  • 94% run out of supplies by the start of the second semester

“As a result of the pandemic, the need for supplies is greater than ever, especially with many students needing separate sets of supplies for school and at home,” said Corey Gordon, CEO of KINF. “We are grateful for the efforts of the MREF to provide so many children with the supplies they need to learn, regardless of their classroom environment.”

“As the cracks in our society continue to widen, now more than ever, people are craving connection.” said Lauren Ott, Chief Kits Officer of Kits for a Cause. “There is nothing more powerful than coming together to make the world a better place, and we are so proud to work with MREF in order to make this happen.”

About Kids in Need Foundation The Kids In Need Foundation’s mission is to ensure that every child is prepared to learn and succeed in the classroom by providing free school supplies nationally to students most in need. The only national organization focused on serving students and teachers in schools with a population of 70% or more enrolled in the federal government’s free and reduced lunch program, the Kids In Need Foundation is a national 501(c)(3) charitable organization founded in 1995 and has distributed $1 billion in school supplies since the Foundation’s inception. For more information, visit, and join us on Facebook, Twitter, & Instagram: @KidsInNeed.

Kits for a Cause Kits for a Cause is a social enterprise that makes giving back easy, impactful, and fun! The mission is to create the biggest impact possible on local communities, by matching charities in need of daily supplies, to groups of people who want to make a difference. Every Kit is customized to the Kit pack – Homeless Hygiene Kits, Back to School Kits, Winter Warmth Kits, Holiday Gift Kits, Women Shelter Kits, allowing charities to receive what they need, when they need it. Through the Kits program schools, companies and families across North America have donated millions of dollars’ worth of supplies to thousands of community-based charities in need, impacting millions of lives for the better – one Kit at a time!

Facebook & LinkedIn: @kitsforacause Twitter & Intstagram: Kits4aCause Parent Company: The Bargains Group

About MREF MREF’s mission is to unify, inspire and activate the marketing research community to focus its collective resources to educate children and youth worldwide. With the collective contributions of more than 100 organizations in the industry MREF has made a positive impact on the lives of thousands of children and their families. Visit for more information.


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