A 1997 article in Forbes magazine pointed out, "There are more than 600,000 charitable organizations in the U.S. - all clamoring for your money." This highly competitive market now consists of 1.5 million charities, raising $241 billion, or 2.3 percent of the Gross Domestic Product.

The Salvation Army, the largest and one of the most efficient charities in the world, traditionally approached fund raising through public service announcements, direct mail and public relations. With corporate and individual donations slowing, and dramatic cuts in national and local government supported programs, a new way of raising money was considered.

Through a series of presentations on branding focused on educating The Army on today's marketing and marketing communications world, KCG established a "Share of Wallet" mind set which led to The Army's first controlled and paid for advertising test market. The test was conducted over a 17 week period, leading up to and beyond the 1997 tax season. Charitable Gift Annuities were promoted.

The test market was overwhelmingly successful, with over 160 responses to commit $5,000 or more; awareness of The Army's 140 charitable programs was heightened; a four year downtrend in traditional small gift donations in the Spring was reversed; and, pride and morale within The Army soared.

The Charitable Gift Annuity program was expanded throughout metro New York to a two-flight campaign and was even more successful. Because of this immense success, the advertising program was expanded in 2000 throughout Eastern markets. Additionally, a Legacy component has been integrated into the overall program.

Through 2003, inquiries to the campaign exceeded 16,000. Importantly, cash received from the advertising is more than 2.5 times the cost of the entire program, and growing, while the "halo" created by the advertising also significantly increased general giving, pride, brand awareness and reputation.

The following presents the role of KCG in this historic undertaking:

  • Branding Presentations to teach and establish its importance to an uninitiated audience

  • Consumer Advertising and Media Planning/Buying employing full page print advertisements and over 60,000 :60 celebrity radio commercials featuring Angela Lansbury, Ed Herrman, George Plimpton, Mason Adams, Cliff Robertson, Cheryl Ladd and Teri Keane

  • Test Market Expansion throughout Metro New York and other Eastern markets, from Maine through Ohio; seasonal expansion from October through May; expanded media selection; an extensive competitive and demographic analysis; predictive inquiry models

  • Strict ROI Evaluation of each flight, including extensive customer analysis, by market; ever-increasing ROI

  • Fully Integrated Celebration of The Salvation Army's 125th anniversary in 2005 for the Greater New York Division

  • Day-to-day Campaign Management and stewardship of all programs.

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