Supporting Seattle’s Pike Place Market to help the local community

Misia Tramp

24 November 2020

With a big local team based nearbySeattle’s Pike Place Market is close to our hearts. The flying fish, the smell of the flower stands and stunning views of downtown set against a mountainous backdrop, have been a magnet for Seattleites and tourists alike for 113 years. The scenes of an empty, lifeless marketplace during the pandemic have been jarring. 

One less known aspect of the marketplace is the Pike Place Market Foundation, a non-profit organization that supports a community of housing and services for people who live in and around the Market community in downtown Seattle.

The Market Foundation contributes to the neighborhood by investing in a network of affordable housing and services in the Market including a medical clinic, senior center, preschool, food bank and assisted living facility. The Foundation also operates programs that provide access to fresh produce in the market, a Community Safety Net Fund to help market farmers, merchants social service clients and residents who need emergency assistance, and a community resource center to bring the community together at The Market Commons.  

The services offered by the Foundation proved exceptionally important during the pandemic. The organization hopes to raise $3.5 million to support the Market’s businesses, workers and social service community by the end of 2020.

Prior to the first wave of global lockdowns, the team at the Pike Place Market Foundation were keen to better drive awareness, make sure their goals connected with Seattleites and – ultimately – drive donations to support the community of the Market that includes farmers, artists, senior residents and downtown neighbors looking for community support services. These goals became even more critical when the pandemic really started to hit hard.

The Foundation team has a clear idea of who their biggest donors are, but the steps needed to increase wider awareness were not clear. Our Insight team knows a bit about how to get that done, and were only too happy to jump in and volunteer their time to help out.

First, we tested the hypothesis that avid shoppers also tended to be the most likely to donate to the organization. Using proprietary techniques our data scientists were able to analyze the thousands of online conversations surrounding the market itself and also the Foundation. Using data gathering and aggregation of public conversations and also historical data, we were able to step back in time before the pandemic, as well examine the current dialogue.

After data gathering and analysis using our Content Resonance System and tools we were able to inform tactics on how to better connect with potential donors. These initial insights built an understanding of how to better position the Foundation and grow topical awareness among shoppers.

On this basis of information, our Insight and Content teams were able to provide actionable next steps and advice on content development and demand generation to provide a fully integrated picture. This included targeting recommendations, examples of possible multi-channel campaigns and key hooks to get consumers engaged.

In the midst of the first wave of lockdown, Market merchants needed a central digital storefront to allow them to sell online throughout the pandemic. Despite many of them having individual ecommerce platforms for their goods, being a part of the greater Pike Place Market brand and working together as a community was important.

This desire from the Market merchants combined with our insights on how to best drive awareness of the Foundation among Market shoppers resulted in the launch of the Charitable Marketplace.

This new platform has digitally transformed Pike Place Market and given the Foundation a chance to boost awareness and drive donations to the Power of Pike Place Recovery Fund. Every purchase from the Marketplace provides a donation, allowing shoppers to give back to the market community and support the small businesses which make Pike Place Market such a special venue for shoppers and tourists alike.

This is a cause we want to shout about, so let’s go with it.

Pike Place Foundation has a goal of raising $3,500,000 for the Power of Pike Place Recovery Fund to help fund vital services and support for the Market’s small businesses and workers throughout the pandemic. We are right behind it, are you?

The Charitable Marketplace, which only launched last week, has already seen fantastic uptake by the small businesses who make up Pike Place Market and fundraising is taking off. But more support is needed.

You can visit the Charitable Marketplace here or donate to the Power of Pike Place here.