How Dawn’s Ecommerce Business Helps Fight Human Trafficking

How Dawn’s Ecommerce Business Helps Fight Human Trafficking

The Challenge

  • Needed a marketing automation platform that combined personal touch and automation
  • Wanted to connect and communicate with customers, volunteers, resellers, and restorative centers – all through a single platform
  • Had no central source of truth for customer, volunteer, and reseller contact information

The Solution

  • Built an automated volunteer pipeline to connect volunteers with available opportunities and helps others get involved
  • Stores volunteer, customer, and reseller contact information in one central database with the ActiveCampaign CRM
  • Can track how effective each email campaign is towards Made for Freedom’s goals and mission
It’s really been incredible to see how I can use the pieces to bring people along these different paths of communication so that they can be part of something bigger, even if they’re just volunteering a couple of hours a week.

At a seminar in St. Louis, Dawn Manske watched a video of an undercover reporter in Cambodia. The reporter asked...

United States
Company Size
1-100 employees
ActiveCampaign for Marketing
ActiveCampaign for Sales

At a seminar in St. Louis, Dawn Manske watched a video of an undercover reporter in Cambodia. The reporter asked traffickers for the youngest girls they could find. In came a group of girls ranging in age from 7 to 13 — all victims of human trafficking.

Dawn knew she had to do something, but she didn’t know where to start.
Then she received a pair of fisherman pants from Thailand as a wedding gift. Wherever she wore them, people complimented Dawn’s unique pants — even a TSA agent. With the goal of helping victims of trafficking in mind, she thought of selling similar pants and donating part of the profits.

But it didn’t seem like enough.

A research trip to India gave her the final piece of the puzzle. Dawn saw firsthand the people helping restore the lives of women rescued from sex trafficking.

What if she could combine this restorative work with her love of unique fashion?

Inspired, she launched Made for Freedom. Dawn sells unique clothing and accessories, donating 20% of each purchase to organizations that support victims and prevent future trafficking.

But Made for Freedom is more than an online clothing store: Dawn works with centers around the world to provide dignified employment to victims of human trafficking.

Keep reading to learn how Dawn makes an impact beyond dollars — and uses ActiveCampaign to help others do the same.

Jobs aren’t enough. Dawn creates “dignified employment.”

“Rather than focusing on the amount of money, I went with a larger term that talks about the amount of money plus the dignity that comes with supporting yourself and working in a safe place.”

To find suppliers for her online store, Dawn sought out restorative centers around the world providing what Dawn calls “dignified employment.”
Dignified employment goes beyond providing a livable wage. Dawn defines it as:

  • A fair wage
  • Reasonable working hours
  • A safe and comfortable workspace

Restorative centers already have the systems in place to support victims. Dawn works with them to create connections and provide employment around the world.

For example, Dawn works with a center in her hometown of St. Louis that mentors young men from the inner city — and teaches them how to screen print.

The young men in St. Louis screen print on t-shirts Dawn brings in from Calcutta, India. The center that makes these shirts provides dignified employment to women in Calcutta — where an estimated 11,000 women are victims of sex trafficking.

Through Made for Freedom, Dawn has built an international network of dignified employment.

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Made for Freedom aims to combat human trafficking by fighting the root cause. (Source: Made for Freedom)

“Our partners teach women not only to make the products we sell, but also how a business works, and how to use their skills to help others,” explains Dawn. “When women are empowered by employment and education, the cycle of vulnerability and extreme poverty is broken for generations.”

How automation helps the fight against human trafficking

“It’s really been incredible to see how I can use the pieces to bring people along these different paths of communication so that they can be part of something bigger, even if they’re just volunteering a couple of hours a week.”

Dawn uses ActiveCampaign for email marketing and marketing automation. She sends the same marketing emails that many other stores do:

  • Welcome emails
  • Promotions and discounts
  • New product announcements

Dawn’s welcome email to new subscribers includes a 10% off promo code.

But just as Made for Freedom goes beyond a typical online store, Dawn’s automations go beyond typical marketing emails. She uses ActiveCampaign to connect volunteers with opportunities to support her mission.

“I love to help people, and connecting is just part of who I am. I want to provide these people that want to do more with everything that they need to help.”

With a combination of personal touch and automation, Dawn helps others get involved in supporting victims and preventing trafficking. Using ActiveCampaign, Dawn:

  • Sends regular updates to her volunteer network
  • Connects with new centers around the world
  • Shares more information with potential volunteers
  • Reaches out to potential resellers with information about Made for Freedom

Here’s what the beginning of her volunteer pipeline looks like:

  1. Potential volunteers sign up on a landing page
  2. ActiveCampaign automatically emails the potential volunteer with available options
  3. Dawn follows up using personalized saved responses based on the volunteer’s interests
  4. Depending on the volunteer’s response, Dawn may follow up with a phone call
  5. Dawn enters all relevant information into ActiveCampaign’s CRM
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Once a volunteer replies to the initial automated email, ActiveCampaign assigns a task to Dawn. This task reminds her to follow up with a saved response based on the volunteer’s reply.

What does it look like in action?

A volunteer in Vegas went through the volunteer pipeline.

During the phone call stage, she told Dawn, “I would love to host a party at my house and take some of your product to work and sell it at my office. And I would love to research socially conscious boutiques in Las Vegas.”

Dawn loaded the information about potential resellers in Las Vegas into ActiveCampaign. She can now use it to send those boutiques more information about Made for Freedom.

How does Dawn measure the success of her marketing? She looks at how much each email supports her overall mission.

  • How effective was that email in getting more volunteers?
  • How effective was this newsletter in getting more young people in this center?
  • How effective was this email to this center in connecting me to another center?

And speaking of metrics…

Measuring success beyond dollars

“Here are our sales, but what that means is we generated this many hours of dignified employment. Our goal is to increase hours of dignified employment. The way we’re doing that is by selling the products that these women make.”

Made for Freedom’s impact is two-fold:

  1. Helping human trafficking survivors find dignified employment
  2. Reinvesting 20% of each purchase to organizations that support victims and prevent future trafficking

Dawn and her team continue to pursue a world free from human trafficking — a goal where success means more than dollars donated. To date, Made For Freedom has created over 15,000 hours of dignified employment.

“It’s a different metric but it’s just as powerful because it’s specific to your business. You’re measuring success by these are how many people are being employed and re-acclimated as a whole individual into our society.”

Made for Freedom has turned countless customers into advocates — but Dawn is far from finished. She plans to use her network (and marketing automation) to reach more centers, engage more volunteers, and make more of an impact. “It’s been really fun to learn. I’m still blown away by the options within ActiveCampaign.”

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