The article on Catalytic Philanthropy by Mark R. Kramer inspired this piece. Thomas Siebel foresight, tenacity, and wisdom are instrumental in bringing about a paramount change in the lives of substance abuse in the United States, especially teenagers. The article is dedicated to youth around the world, especially in America, to Thomas Siebel for his wisdom and compassion for identifying the problem and launching the Project Meth.
Thomas Siebel is a very successful entrepreneur; he founded Siebel Systems which he sold to Oracle. He is a well-known philanthropist and founder of the Project Meth. Founded in 2005 by the Thomas and Stacey Siebel Foundation, in response to the growing Meth epidemic in the US, the project is a foremost example of Catalytic Impact Driven Philanthropy. The Meth Project is a large-scale prevention program for reducing Meth use through public service messaging, public policy, and community outreach. Central to the program is a research-based marketing campaign, community action programs, and an in-school lesson all designed to communicate the risks of Meth use. The project reduced the proliferation of Methamphetamine use in the US with remarkable success across many States in America. The usage was very rampant in few rural areas in the US due to lack of awareness of the harmful effect of Meth addiction.
Pic source: http://www.methproject.org
# Project Meth an example of Catalytic Philanthropy
To drive home the message of terrible effects of meth addiction, highly impactful commercials were played repeatedly across different promotional channels. To address the meth addiction, Thomas Siebel went to the root of the problem. He researched and evaluated to understand that the majority of drug use was among teenagers who were not aware of the pitfalls of meth abuse. He hired one of the best directors in Hollywood to make high impactful advertisements, which won national and international critical acclaim. Commercials limited their duration to 30-second for making it visually stimulating to drive the menacing message.
The commercials portrayed a poignant message of substance abuse, driving awareness of the consequences of the habit. Mr. Seibel spent $2 million on annual advertising budget, generated more than 45,000 television ads, 35,000 radio ads, and 1,000 billboards in the first two years.
# Social Impact especially among the teens
Between, 2005 to 2007, drug usage dropped from 45 percent among teens, and 72 percent among adults and meth-related crimes fell 62 percent in Montana. The awareness among teenagers about the dangers of addiction to Meth increased from 25 percent to 95 percent, which acted as a catalyst for change in dissuading teens from using Meth. According to the updated statistics published on the website, Teen Meth has declined by 63%, Adult Meth declined by 72%, and Meth-related crime dropped by 62%. The success of Meth Project is measurable and serves as one of the best examples of the success of impactful and quantifiable advertising.
Over the years, teen meth addiction continued to decline while other statistics remain more or less constant, highlighting the advantages of persistent advertisement among the youth. Catalytic Philanthropy is a focused approach, and identifies and analyzes the cause of the issue, takes corrective measures by implementing solutions with precision. Project Meth saved the lives of many Americans and their families from substance abuse, and its contribution to humanity is timeless and priceless. The United States leads in impact driven philanthropy, of which Catalytic Philanthropy is emerging as a panacea for giving. Further, Project Meth used collective good to drive its cause using volunteers, media, policy makers in a collaborative role for driving its cause.
According to business of giving, between 1995-2002, United States gave about 1.8% of GDP in philanthropy more than any other country in the world. 56% of the population in the US volunteered for 20 billion hours, which is equivalent to more than 9 million full-time employees having an economic value of $226 billion to all institutions. (State of non profits in America).
Substance abuse is one of the gravest risks known to humanity. Catalytic Philanthropy is one of the critical facets of emerging impact driven giving, which aims to bring accountability, purpose, and evidence-based approach per dollar donated. In the end, Project Meth is one of the best examples of how targeted advertising can bring about a change for the positive. Substance abuse is a global problem, and its time to take a resilient and proactive stance in ending the problem for good.