Creative initiatives ‘Stop Colon Cancer’

I’m always amazed of the creative power of non-profit organizations. Most of the time, these organizations don’t have big budgets and have to work with small teams of volunteers to realize their dreams. It’s a bit different than the large multinationals who can spend millions of euro’s on a certain marketing campaign and have a little army of marketeers and specialists to realize their goals. But I believe in this mathematical definition:

One big dream (*1) + Very few assets like money and time + Open mind and guts with passion = Amazing creative ideas.

(*1) and that dream is most of the time NOT: earn as much money as possible or create happy shareholders in the next quarter.

Here are a few concrete examples from a great organization ‘Stop Colon Cancer’ (Stop Darmkanker)

Stop colon cancer is an initiative from @LucColemont (Belgian doctor) and his team. Some facts:

+ 1 to 20 people get confronted to colon cancer (90% older than 50)
+ 80% of the cases of colon cancer are not genetic
+ A simple test can save your life
+ There are more victims of colon cancer than victims of AIDS and traffic accidents but colon cancer doesn’t get that much media attention.

The big dream = Bringing awareness to the world (let’s start with Belgium ;-)) that preventing colon cancer is easy (curing is very hard).
Their assets = small core team + volunteers + almost no budget
Open mind and guts = plenty available

Here are some of the great creative initiatives from Stop Colon Cancer:


DearBradPittAction 1: The Curious case of Dear Brad Pitt – Because Brad Pitt has turned 50 years old – an ideal age to do the colon cancer test. The team from Stop Colon Cancer really want to reach him and they have send a letter with a test to 10 different addresses, from the Jolie-Pitt residence in France to Brad Pitt’s production company Plan B, hoping at least one of the letters will reach it’s destination. And off course, it was also put online. The complete letter was posted on In that page’s news section you can see it was already picked it by the Belgian media (on national news!), but he didn’t react yet… They combined this action with a Thunderclap – a form of crowdspeaking where supporters agree to send out a message at exactly the same time.


saveyourselfieAction 2: #Saveyourselfie A selfie is a type of self-portrait photograph, typically taken with a hand-held digital phone and spread via social media. The team of ‘Stop Colon Cancer’ started the #saveyourselfie campaign where they invite people to take a selfie on their toilet – again to bring awareness for the disease. It’s already a big success because several famous Belgians have participated and the #saveyourselfie’s got attention in national magazines.[divider_line]

Keuringskaart stop darmkankerAction 3: They have created a big ‘inspection card’ (normally used for cars) to remind people to ‘check your body on the symptons of colon cancer. A big version of that card was delivered at the office of the Minister-President of Flanders.[divider_line]

Club BallonnenAction 4: At a big football game (Club Bruges – Lokeren), 465 balloons were released before the game started. This number matched the number of Flemish people who died from colon cancer between the start of the competition and the 10th matchday.[divider_line]

Action 5: In 2011, they have written 31 blogs (31 questions and answers about colon cancer) which are published in a nice booklet.[divider_line]

Action 6: They have created a very simple and clear ‘blackboard’-document with the essential elements of colon cancer. This ‘blackboard’ has been distributed as a poster at doctor’s offices, blocnotes, …

Lesbord darmkanker

…. and a lot more . You can also support this organization by making a donation or ordering some great Belgian chocolat. It’s almost incredible that all these great initiatives come from a very small team with a very limited amount of budget. I wish the team of ‘Stop Colon Cancer’ a lot luck with fulfilling their mission and hope that I could help already a little bit in spreading the word.