Maximizing a Telethon Moment for Brand Awareness, Partner Activation and Cause Raising

Feb 25, 2021

MDA shares a special look at how a moment like the MDA Telethon can help lift up a brand, bolster fundraising and cause raising, and the importance that partners like DECA play in the success of MDA’s mission.

The MDA Telethon raised over $10 million and had a total reach of 4.2 billion netting over $2.7 million in advertising value. Thousands of new donors and new constituents were acquired as part of the MDA Telethon Activation.

The session is hosted by Alison Tibbits, CVA, Vice President, Volunteer Programs and Strategy, MDA and Moderated by Jasleen Kaur, New York DECA President and DECA/MDA Muscle Corp Ambassador.

Advisors: Use the Classroom Discussion Guide for a ready-made lesson plan that accompanies the video.

Meet the Panelists:

Eva Moutrie
Senior Director, Digital Marketing, MDA

Digital Marketing Leader skilled in utilizing customer-centered design methodologies to create, test and deliver highly impactful digital experiences that build brands and drive revenue. Specialties include: Digital Strategy, Budget Management, Data Integration, Lead Generation, OLA, Personalization, Social Media, SEO, SEM & Web Analytics, CRM Management, Web Application, Platform Integrations, Media Strategy and Leadership.

Mda Kellen Williams

Kellen Williams
Brand Partnerships, CSM Sport & Entertainment

Kellen is an experienced revenue driver who works with clients in sports, entertainment, media, tech, lifestyle and non-profit. He thoughtfully connects with blue chip brands and develops creative marketing campaigns that introduce solutions to advance brand priorities. Skilled at consultative sales and relationship building, Kellen analyzes industry trends and leans into key research to inform messaging to clients and outreach to prospects. Kellen has also secured endorsements, 360-degree partnerships and a range of opportunities for top active and retired athletes with a variety of sports and leagues, including the NFL, NBA, MLB, PGA, MLL, USTA, coaches and broadcasters. In all, Kellen has helped to drive over $2,000,000 for his clients.

Mda Brian Beirne

Brian Beirne
Vice President, Multi-Channel Marketing, MDA

Senior integrated and digital marketing professional with 20 years of success leading marketing efforts in nonprofit, e-tail and travel. Proven track record of solving problems with technology and processes, managing multi-channel marketing efforts, optimizing the customer experience, interpreting marketing analytics, and directing enterprise initiatives and programs. Extensive experience managing vendors and stakeholders in a matrixed environment.

Mda Kathy Kauffmann

Kathy Kauffmann
Chief Strategy and Development Officer, MDA

Kathy Kauffmann is an Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Kathy has spent about 22 years in the non-profit space including roles with the American Heart Association and the American Cancer Society. Previous to her roles in health charities, Kathy held a development role and was an actor for a small professional theatre in Michigan. She attended both University of Michigan and Central Michigan University receiving a BS in Political Science and Public Administration. She currently resides in South Carolina with her husband, two old cats, and occasionally her adult children.



For 70 years, the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) has been committed to transforming the lives of people living with muscular dystrophy, ALS, and related neuromuscular diseases. MDA funds groundbreaking research for promising treatments and provides families with the highest quality care from the best doctors in the country.The Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) and DECA are incredibly proud of their more than 40-year partnership to empower young people to continually impact and improve their local and broader communities. To date, DECA members have raised both awareness and more than $5 million to help MDA serve the hundreds of thousands of children and adults living with muscular dystrophy, ALS and related diseases.

Discussion Questions

  • 1
    Why was the timing excellent to bring back and reinvent the MDA Telethon? Do you personally think the MDA Telethon achieved a goal of elevating the brand’s awareness?
  • 2
    Why was choosing the host for the MDA Telethon so important, and what were some of the important criteria MDA was looking for in selecting the host?
  • 3
    What is the difference between paid media and earned media?
  • 4
    What is the lag indicator and the lead indicator discussed in the presentation? Which do you think is more important, and why?

Classroom Connection

Career CLuster:


Instructional Area(s):


Performance Indicators:

Describe factors used by businesses to position corporate brands
Explain the role of situation analysis in the marketing planning process
Explain the use of celebrities/influencers as a word-of-mouth strategy
Identify ways to segment markets for marketing communications
Apply project-management tools to monitor and communicate process