As technology advances and the number of wealthy people around the world grows, more and more charities are seeking donations globally. But World Vision, the international relief organization, is going local in a new concentrated fund-raising campaign to recruit new donors in a single city.
The campaign, called Count on Spokane, in the midsize Washington city of 450,000, started last week and will run for six weeks. The charity will use direct mail, presentations to church congregations, paid radio and television spots, bus ads, celebrity appearances, and more to seek out new donors.
“By going in with all guns blazing and combining these strategies, we think it will generate a bigger response,” said Steve Quant, World Vision’s director of media acquisition. But, he said, “it is a big test. A lot of these channels have never worked together before.” If it is successful, he added, the campaign will be expanded to other cities.
The campaign’s goal is to recruit 2,600 new “child sponsors” to make monthly gifts to help needy children in developing countries. The campaign has attracted just a few new donors so far, but “we are on track, doing exactly what we expected,” said Mr. Quant. “The first two weeks are kind of quiet; it will really get under way after Labor Day.”
The idea for Count on Spokane came from World Vision Canada, where a citywide, multifaceted approach combining in-person appeals with other methods such as direct mail and advertisements works well, said Mr. Quant. “In Canada, the city model is their main acquisition method now.”
After traveling to Toronto to learn more about the citywide fund-raising approach, Mr. Quant said he adopted some of the Canadian methods but not others. “Part of Canada’s strategy is door to door,” he said, “but that is not going to happen here.”