FRIENDS of Canadian Broadcasting

Putting our passion and expertise behind a powerful idea.

In 1985, the Mulroney government slashed $100 million from the CBC’s budget, a move that would cost the CBC many cherished programs and employees — jeopardizing its very survival. CBC is the one thread that ties Canadians together and helps us define who we are.

Believing that Canada’s distinct cultural and democratic identity joins us together and sets us apart, a group of concerned citizens decided to fight back and founded FRIENDS of Canadian Broadcasting. FRIENDS was launched with a full page ad in the Globe and Mail urging readers to contact their MPs in support of the CBC. Stephen Thomas Ltd was brought on board to help fundraise for the advocacy and lobbying work of this new organization — a role we continue to play to this day.


Canadian broadcasting has a friend in Stephen Thomas.

We’re proud of our long partnership with FRIENDS, and for supporting their continuous efforts to advance Canadian culture and protect Canadian media against internal and external threats.

Over 35 years, we’ve developed about 170 direct mail fundraising and advocacy campaigns, with our founder Steve Thomas as the mastermind behind them all. A couple of highlights include supporting the I love CBC campaign, which helped FRIENDS grow its email file from 30,000 to 180,000 and the We Choose CBC campaign, which used signs, petitions, leaflets, and public meetings to help elect pro CBC MPs in 20 key ridings during the 2019 federal election. As an advocacy organization FRIENDS does not offer tax receipts which makes our job even more challenging.

"FRIENDS of Canadian Broadcasting was founded in 1985, and Stephen Thomas Ltd was a vital partner since the very beginning. The firm has been a valued fundraising and list management partner since 1986. It has been my pleasure to work with Steve Thomas and the Stephen Thomas Ltd team since I joined the organization in 2018. They understand progressive fundraising and will do whatever it takes to keep your programs profitable and punctual. I wholeheartedly recommend them to you."
– Daniel Bernhard, Executive Director, Friends of Canadian Broadcasting

ST Services Provided

Brand Insights
& Data Analytics

  • Surveys to both engage potential donors and learn more about the audience
  • Fundraising look, tone and messaging evolved with the organization over the years

Strategy

  • Integrated overall strategy (mail with digital)
  • Use every opportunity to test (creative, size, messaging, ask)
  • Don’t shy away from urgent and hard hitting when appropriate

Creative & Execution

  • 170 direct mail campaigns over 34+ years
  • Use 4-page and even 6-page letters to fully engage donors and prospective donors
  • Eye-catching creative to stand out
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