Whitecaps Fans “Buck Up” For Mental Health

Research | June 26, 2014

For the month of May, Chimp had the honour of supporting Vancouver’s Major League soccer club, Whitecaps FC in their efforts to raise money for mental health.

For four weeks, Whitecaps fans and staff raised money through Chimp. And fans showed upBuckUp_Morgan2 in droves for their club’s 40th anniversary game on May 3 to “buck up” for mental health by giving a dollar each.

“I had to empty my bucket three times,” says Morgan Pendleton. He’s one of the 60 volunteers who walked around BC Stadium, cardboard bucket in hand, to collect loonies from fans.

“It’s really inspiring to actually see people give. I think the subject of mental health touches a lot of people.”


Over $21,000 To Support Local Mental Health Charities

With support from Chimp’s fundraising and marketing team, the Whitecaps developed a strategy that empowered them to tap into their supporter networks and exceed their fundraising goal by 40%.

Together with their fans, the club raised over $21,000 for two local mental health charities — The Kettle Society, as well as the BC Canadian Mental Health Association.

The money raised offline and online, including a $3,000 matching grant, was conveniently pooled through the club’s campaign page and sent to both charities through Chimp.

Carly.jpgChimp Giving Group pages set up by fans and staff in support of the #BuckUp for Mental Health Campaign, empowered the Whitecaps community to come together and connect with their soccer club in a meaningful way, says Whitecaps Director of Communications and Broadcast, Carly Jokic.

“We were really excited to see everyone come together through this. And Chimp was a huge help in making that happen. In every way they felt like a partner, and we felt like we weren’t alone in our fundraising efforts.”

Raising money on a large scale has been a new experience for Carly and the Whitecaps — and a great one at that.

“I set up my own Giving Group and raised almost $700. To ask for just $5 or $10 instead of larger amounts really worked for me. It slowly started adding up. I was amazed by how many people were coming forward and saying, good for you, this is a really good cause.”

Talking About Mental Illness: An Act of Bravery

In addition to the significant amount of money raised, the “show of bravery” was what really stuck out for Carly.

“Through the campaign we saw fans come out and say ‘I suffer from mental illness, I’m worried about my mental health.’ Expressing that you have a mental illness takes huge bravery.”


And not just the fans felt inspired to talk openly about their experiences. One of the Whitecaps players came forward to let his fans know that mental illness is a stigma that can be broken.

“Andy O’Brien, who has gone through bouts of mental illness… had shared his problems in the past and was ostracized as a result of it” says Whitecaps President Bob Lenarduzzi.

“So, the fact that he now goes out and shares his story can only be beneficial for others that are going through the same thing. I hope it’ll make them more comfortable to do the same.”

The #BuckUp for Mental Health Campaign has wrapped up, but you can still give for mental health! Search for mental health charities on Chimp and choose which one you’d like to support. 


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