Meet Alison Moore, CEO at Comic Relief US
Anthem partner Comic Relief US is an organization that has occupied the unique space where humor blends with social impact work. Their innovative fundraising campaigns have raised over $380 million and positively impacted over 30 million children in the U.S. and around the world, through its signature Red Nose Day campaign to end child poverty. We spoke with Alison Moore, CEO of Comic Relief US, to gain insight from her experience in humanitarian work. We also spoke with her as she’s one of the latest to join the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences (IADAS), our judging body of over 2,000 industry professionals. She talked to us about what it takes for a fundraising campaign to create change, the humanitarian efforts that inspire her, and the expertise she’s bringing to IADAS.
For those who are unfamiliar, can you tell us a bit about yourself and the work that you do?
I joined Comic Relief US in 2019 to build upon the organization’s ambitious vision to create a just world free from poverty. Comic Relief US occupies a unique space in the social impact sector — we leverage our special blend of humor and entertainment to address the most complex and entrenched social and economic issues. As a long time, digital first executive in the entertainment, media, and technology sectors, my work had always centered on two things – doing something that felt purposeful and reimagining business models to create growth through transformation. At Comic Relief US, I found purpose-led work centered in true social impact, along with the space to create transformational change through innovation. For the last 3 years, we have been on an unbridled path of change and evolution. Fueled by our new Theory of Change, we created our new social impact goal of breaking the cycles of intergenerational poverty. This work includes a new focus on the root causes, not just the consequences, of the insidious generational poverty affecting many children and their families. We are reimagining the traditional fundraising model, expanding our portfolio to better reach next gen audiences, and creating new content programs that offer more ways for individuals, brands, organizations, and communities to generate greater impact together. It’s an exciting time to lead this amazing team.
What expertise are you bringing as a judge for The Anthem Awards?
At Comic Relief US we are focused on bridging the worlds of entertainment, social change, storytelling, and fundraising to address complex and entrenched social and economic issues facing so many people around the world. We galvanize the public to raise funds that go to community-rooted nonprofit partners that support robust initiatives that lead to economic and social mobility, particularly for people who have experienced systemic racism and faced structural economic barriers for generations.
The Anthem Awards and Comic Relief US share a similar goal to amplify purpose & mission driven work that inspires people to make an impact by taking action. It is with this lens that I will be reviewing the work submitted by all the incredible nominees at this year’s Anthem Awards!
What are you looking for in Anthem Awards entries?
I’ll be looking for companies, organizations and people that stand out. They are nimble, and forward-thinking in their approaches, and have been able to adapt and evolve to meet the demands of the ever-changing industries in which they intersect. They should be investing in new and innovative solutions to drive social impact that will bring about real and lasting change in the communities they serve.
What does it take for a project or campaign to cause real-world change?
I think to bring about real and lasting change we need to look at addressing the root causes of the issues and injustices that are facing so many people around the world. I think we need to uplift the communities and partners that are on-the-ground and on the frontlines experiencing these issues – drive awareness and raise funds to support their efforts.
And finally, I believe we need to look at scaling successful ideas, campaigns, or funds – this is something that our team at Comic Relief US is working on right now. Looking at what we’ve done and seeing how we can scale to drive the most impact possible – if you can build and expand on something that’s already seen success in new markets, new countries and with new audiences, that is key.
What social impact campaign, grassroots effort, fundraiser, or project has recently inspired you?
I’m so very inspired by the tireless efforts of all the Comic Relief US grantee partners – but to highlight one I’ll speak about Boris L. Henson Foundation, which was founded by actress Taraji. P. Henson and named after her father, who suffered from mental health trauma and didn’t have support. The team at BLHF actively raises awareness to destigmatize mental health issues in the Black Community. Earlier this year they partnered with BET to announce their Joy Challenge, which will provide one million hours of free mental health support and wellness resources to Communities of Color that may not have had access to these types of crucial services in the past. I’m so inspired by their mission to help break the stigma surrounding mental health issues within the Black Community and provide wellness solutions so those who have suffered in silence may no longer have to do so anymore.