HSF Calendar Lottery



The stretch business challenge was to increase lottery revenue by 50% through optimization of current product and launch of a new product.  The product could not denigrate the base business and needed to be approved by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO).  We looked at all available products in the category and selected the top 3 based on a strategic assessment.  Through research and volume predictive modelling, the Calendar Lottery was born.  The next step was to determine the details around product offering, odds, prize structure, look of the calendar, communication strategy and prepare the business case for the Board.

Stakeholder Buy-in

Innovation is challenging in any organization but in a not for profit you are under even greater scrutiny.  Donor dollars are being used to develop a product that may not work and consequently the Board governance over such an initiative is intense.  It was up to the team to develop a business case that would give the Board the information they needed to make an informed decision.  The business case included product category research, volume predictive modelling, pre-tested advertising and risk analysis and contingency planning – and the Board said yes….from concept to implementation in 9 months…oh my, what an accomplishment and what a Board.


The HSF Calendar Lottery sold out early in the first year and came in way ahead of target and in the second year due to learning from the first year and understanding ticket volume potential, the net revenue doubled. Not only is this a great business win but it also taught us a lot about innovation and taking risk. The Heart and Stroke foundation was built on risk – isn’t that what research into disease is? – aren’t we always testing, learning, failing and retrying and succeeding in unexpected ways? I believe that the launch of the HSF Calendar Lottery re-inspired the organization to go back to their roots and not let fear get in the way of success. Someone once told me that 9 out of 10 new products fail and I naively said “but I am only launching one…” sometimes not knowing gives you the courage to create something unbelievable… – My philosophy, “don’t let fear get in the way of success”