5 Nonprofits Win Cannes Lions Sustainable Development Goals Award Funds

The charities, all of which also won an SDG Lion in 2022, get nearly $50,000 each

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Cannes Lions today announced the names of five recipients of its Sustainable Development Goals Lions funds.

The nonprofits, chosen from last year’s Lion Award-winning charities, each receive nearly $50,000 (45,372 euros) to support their work. The pot of money is the sum of all the entry fees from the 2022 SDG Lions. This year’s fund recipients include:

  • Change the Ref Inc., a gun control advocacy organization in the U.S. The group worked with Leo Burnett Chicago to create “The Lost Class,” a stunt that tricked gun ownership advocates into speaking at a memorial for gun crime victims. It won a Silver SDG Lion.
  • Everybody Eats, a New Zealand-based charity behind “The Goodie Box,” created with DDB Aotearoa. The campaign aimed to encourage restaurant diners to “pay” for their leftovers by making a donation to the nonprofit. The project earned a bronze SDG Lion.
  • GEPAE (Grupo Estratégico para la Pastilla Anticonceptiva de Emergencia), a group that advocates for women’s birth control rights in Honduras. The nonprofit partnered with Ogilvy Honduras to develop “Morning After Island,” winning a bronze SDG Lion.
  • The International Paralympic Committee worked with Adam & Eve/DDB London, which developed the “#WETHE15” campaign film, produced by Pulse Films. Promoting the WETHE15 disability inclusivity movement, the film aired during the Tokyo Paralympic Games and won a bronze SDG Lion.
  • Reporters Without Borders is the NGO behind “The Truth Wins,” developed alongside DDB Germany. Spotlighting the importance of press freedom, the campaign gave access to censored reporting by prominent journalists from Russia, Turkey and Brazil through Twitter, using lottery numbers as an access code. It won a bronze SDG Lion.

The goal of these donations, which have been part of the SDG Lions process since its inaugural year in 2018, is to fund work that supports the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals, a set of goals adopted by UN member states in 2015.

In 2018, the Grand Prix-winning campaign “Palau Pledge” received the entire $370,000 chunk of change from 898 entries. In other years—like this one—the pot is equally split among several deserving causes.

“The SDG Lions’ winning charities show how creativity can drive action to meet the ambitions of the global goals,” Simon Cook, CEO, Lions, said in a statement. “We’re delighted to support the ongoing work of these inspirational charities.”

The campaign to end hunger

Everybody Eats, one of the five recipients of the funds, works to solve the problem of food waste by salvaging landfill-bound food from supermarkets, food rescue charities and businesses. But that’s only part of the group’s mission. With the help of chefs and volunteers, the group transforms that food waste into high-quality meals and serves it at “pay-as-you-feel” restaurants that cater to anyone and everyone who’s interested—effectively working toward the second SDG, which aims to end hunger.

“What we’re trying to do is create a restaurant experience rather than a ‘soup kitchen’ experience,” Nicholas Loosley, founder of Everybody Eats, said. Those who need a hot meal because they can’t afford one are seated right alongside those who might be restaurant regulars. The model aims to “use food as a tool to break down social barriers,” he said.

DDB New Zealand Auckland developed the Lion-winning campaign for Everybody Eats.

The Lion-winning campaign, “The Goodie Box,” mirrors the dual mission of Everybody Eats by raising money for the group’s anti-hunger work while breaking down a New Zealand stigma against taking leftovers home after a meal—therefore avoiding unnecessary food waste. In a landfill, food waste creates methane, a greenhouse gas that’s more than 25 times better than carbon dioxide at trapping heat in the atmosphere and is therefore a major driver of climate change.

When a close friend who works at DDB in New Zealand suggested that the agency could do some pro bono work for the charity, “we jumped at the opportunity,” Loosley said. That eventually resulted in “The Goodie Box.”

The $50,000 from Cannes Lions will let Everybody Eats continue its expansion. It has two restaurants currently in business—its flagship in Auckland and a second spot in Wellington. Though the Covid-19 pandemic slowed down its growth, it aims to open a new restaurant each year for next few years, starting with a second shop in Auckland in about two months.

“Longevity was always at the forefront for this campaign,” Gary Steele, DDB Aotearoa’s chief creative officer, told Adweek via email. “Food scarcity is a really important and massive issue, which Everybody Eats is trying to solve.”

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