Looking back on a year of giving, service and community
The mission of the Marketing Research Education Foundation (MREF) is to unify, inspire and activate the marketing research and insights community by focusing its collective resources to educate children and youth worldwide.
Throughout 2022, the MREF donated nearly $220,000 and organized fundraising events to help researchers impact the lives of many across the world.
Race Around the World for Education
In May of 2022, more than 1,300 marketing researchers across the world participated in the Race Around the World for Education, moving a collective 97,758 miles and raising over $130,000 to aid children displaced by the war in Ukraine.
In partnership with U.S. charity Baal Dan, the MREF awarded grants of $63,850 each to NASHI and Orphans’ Aid Society (OAS), two nonprofits focused on improving the lives of vulnerable and orphaned children in Ukraine.
NASHI is a Canadian nonprofit addressing the issue of human trafficking locally and globally. In Ukraine, NASHI runs The Maple Leaf House, which provides a home and education to nearly 20 girls at risk of human trafficking. While the girls have sheltered elsewhere since the start of the war, the MREF’s gift will help continue to provide necessities and education to them, as well as support for the House back in Ukraine.
Similarly, OAS aims to help orphaned children in foster care by providing small, needs-based grants to families. This support has become particularly vital during the war, and the MREF’s gift has helped OAS to continue providing support to the children in its network.
The Backpack Challenge
Throughout August and September, the MREF held its Backpack Challenge fundraiser and raised nearly $45,000 provide school supplies for under-resourced kids. The MREF partnered with the Kids in Need Foundation and True North Aid, which pack and deliver backpacks full of essential school supplies to children struggling to obtain required materials in the U.S. and Canada, respectively.
The Kids in Need Foundation is a nonprofit that aims to help children and teachers in under-resourced schools. It has positively impacted 316,000 teachers and 7.8 million students and has distributed over $162 million worth of free supplies throughout the U.S.
True North Aid is a nonprofit dedicated to serving indigenous communities throughout Canada. Funds from the Backpack Challenge helped support the organization’s Back To School initiative, which provides backpacks of school supplies to children in 15 rural indigenous communities in northern Canada.
The MREF also held a readathon in connection to the Backpack Challenge to encourage market researchers to pick up a good book while helping a good cause.
The Joseph School
Since 2017, the MREF has provided ongoing support to The Joseph School in Cabaret, Haiti, a tuition-free school which aims to provide its students an education based in leadership and focused on service. In 2022, the MREF donated over $30,000 to support educational programming and help The Joseph School continue to provide for its students and staff through a difficult year.
Baal Dan is a U.S. public charity that aims to help underprivileged children in developing countries by providing grants to grassroots organizations and helping children in orphanages and schools. In December, Baal Dan launched an emergency appeal for famine relief to address the crisis in Ethiopia and Somalia.
The MREF granted $15,300 to Baal Dan, which sought to save 350 children impacted by famine through ready-to-use therapeutic food (RUTF) for 150 children in acute malnutrition, and support for school materials and food stipends for 200 children for up to a year.
Partnerships created in 2022
In 2022, the MREF forged partnerships with the Insights Association, the Market Research Institute International and Generation1.ca. These marketing partnerships will help raise awareness of the current and future endeavors and projects undertaken by the organizations.
To kick off 2023, the MREF hosted its inaugural Month of Service throughout the month of January. MREF community members hosted service groups across multiple locations to help researchers make an impact in their communities. To participate, researchers chose to volunteer at a local nonprofit, join a service group or organize a service group trip with friends, family and colleagues.
This year, we look forward to getting moving with the MR industry during the 2023 Race Around the World for Education throughout the month of May. We’ll also be opening a good book for a good cause in August and September to raise money for school supplies during the Backpack Challenge.
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