Toron­to Domin­ion Char­i­ta­ble Trust: #TDThanksY­ou video

Exhibited by
Karla Paotonu
March 25, 2021
Medium of Communication
Target Audience
Individual donors
Type of Charity
Charitable Trust
Country of Origin
Date of first appearance

SOFII’s view

It’s not often that SOFII celebrates something that isn’t a fundraising campaign, but this is really special and above all an action that should inspire all fundraisers in terms of how they interact with donors. Toronto Dominion Bank (TD) took the time to learn about the lives of their customers, to understand their aspirations, struggles and needs. They then created a truly unique and novel way of thanking these customers via a revamped ATM. The resultant video is heart-warming, emotional and a true example of the power of an effective thank you. 

*This campaign featured as part of the I Wish I’d Thought of That (IWITOT) session at the FINZ Conference 2020. Karla Paotonu is funds development manager at Outward Bound, New Zealand.

Summary / objectives

Toronto Dominion Bank wanted to thank their loyal customers in ways that showed just how much they cared about them.

Creator / originator

Toronto Dominion Bank Charitable Trust and Diamond Integrated Marketing


The video introduces us to, amongst others, Michael, Dorothy and Christine. They are not donors, but rather customers of Toronto Dominion Bank. However, the way TD said ‘thank you’ to their customers is something we could all learn from.

Special characteristics

In order to thank these very special customers, TD set up the ‘automated thanking machine’, an in-branch deployment in four branches which saw ATM machines converted into a means for delivering a message of thanks and appreciation to customers. Thanks to the deep customer knowledge of in-branch employees, loyal customers were selected to receive personalised gestures of appreciation, such as gifts, celebrity meetings and cash. They then captured the reactions of their customers with hidden cameras.

The four-minute video is very emotional and affecting, so it’s no surprise it quickly went viral on YouTube, with nearly 25 million views.


TD took the time to learn about the people they were helping. They cared enough to find out that Michael was a hard-working man who had banked with them for a long time. They knew he was a fan of the Blue Jays and made a special gift to him. They cared enough to know that Dorothy was an older woman living on a pension who was supporting her daughter with cancer in Trinidad. They cared enough to learn that Christine was a solo mum with two kids and had never been able to take them on holiday. 

They didn’t talk about TD, they didn’t talk about what they did or how great they were. They didn’t talk about their mission. They made the whole video about these wonderful people. 

We all have wonderful people in our organisations. People who show us commitment and grace and love so that we can do the best to show commitment and grace and love with those whose lives we can change every day.  

You can view Karla’s IWITOT presentation (and the heart-warming video) at the FINZ Conference 2020 here:  

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Special ‘ATMs’ were set up in four branches of Toronto Dominion Bank to interact with customers and deliver tailored gifts to them.
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TD took time to learn about the lives of their customers, such as single mother Christine who had never been able to take her kids on holiday.