Though we are now past Canada Day, Canada 150 partnerships and celebrations are still being launched across the country. In recent partnership news is Lowe’s Canada, who has signed on to support Habitat for Humanity Canada in bringing the 34th annual Jimmy & Rosalynn Carter Work Project to Canadian families from coast to coast. Dubbed the Carter Work Project, and leveraging a hashtag #150ReasonsToBuild, regional Habitat for Humanity groups will spend July 9-14 building homes for Canadian families in need.
Lowe’s has been a partner of Habitat for Humanity in the United States since 2003, and a supporter of the Jimmy & Rosalynn Carter Work Project since 2010 but has not partnered with Habitat for Humanity Canada in the same capacity until now. The growth of the partnership was a natural one, especially in this time of celebration for Canada.
“At Lowe’s Canada, our shared purpose is to ‘help people love where they live.’ We are therefore extremely proud to support Habitat for Humanity Canada’s important work because we believe that everyone in Canada has the right to a safe, affordable and decent place to live in,” said Sylvain Prud’homme, president and CEO of Lowe’s Canada in a press release. “Being involved in the communities we serve is important to all our employees across our various banners. Through this project and the several others to which we contribute each year, including through our Lowe’s Heroes program, we strive to build stronger, more sustainable communities.”
Benefitting the communities a brand operates within is often an identified CSR objective alongside employee engagement. Becoming involved in an initiative this large is a great way to reach both of those goals within the same project. Volunteers from 15 Lowe’s and RONA stores across Canada, and from the Lowe’s Canada head office are set to participate in the build, as are Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter themselves, who will be visiting Canada at the time. As with any Habitat for Humanity build, Habitat volunteers and the families receiving the homes are also involved in the project.
While the Carter Work Project is an incredible employee engagement initiative for Lowe’s, there is a missing link when it comes to engaging consumers. As of now, the focus on engagement is with employees and it does not appear that Lowe’s will extend the communication of this initiative into its marketing channels or through its most significant touchpoint with the consumer, its stores.
Promotion of the partnership between Lowe’s Canada and Habitat for Humanity Canada is done completely from an internal standpoint, with communications to consumers missing from Lowe’s main marketing channels. Even a social media post on Facebook points only to a press release, and lacks any consumer call to action. This engagement with a broader audience is where the partnership between Lowe’s Canada and Habitat for Humanity could be amplified further for greater success.
The announcement of this partnership is still just days old, so there is room for Lowe’s to reach out to its network of customers, including professionals in the field, in an effort to expand its engagement mandate to include a network beyond its employees. Even without this consumer engagement link, the #150ReasonsToBuild Carter Work Project as a whole is set to become one of Habitat for Humanity Canada’s biggest projects and partners like Lowe’s will be what helps propel the initiative to success.