The American Red Cross may be one of the best known brands in the country. When tragedy strikes, like the tsunami in Asia, the destructive earthquakes in Haiti, or destruction of homes by fire or flooding here in our own cities, Americans are more than willing to open their checkbooks to make a donation. What most of us don’t realize is that for the American Red Cross to be effective, it must have substantial resources poised to go into action, 24/7, 365 days a years. It can’t wait to get the emergency vehicles prepped, blankets and tents ordered, and medicines and bandages loaded and ready to be delivered to a disaster zone in hours, and the cadre of staff and volunteers trained to go into action without missing a beat. It takes money, and lots of it.
Over the past few years, though, the Red Cross had stopped asking individuals to support its good work here and abroad except in times of crisis. Instead, the organization had grown to depend on corporate donors to underwrite its operating costs. This is a picture that is diametrically opposed to how every other major charity in this country raises funds. Most receive about 90% of their donations from individuals, and only 10% from corporations.
In an effort to reverse this trend, the Red Cross decided to retool and rebrand its Clara Barton Society named after the organization’s founder. To that end, IDEAS assisted Nicodemus Communications Group in the rebranding effort to make the Clara Barton Society an elite giving level for major individual gifts. IDEAS also helped to create a 2-day training program for staff and board members to roll out the new brand all across the U.S., with a focus on how to better tell the Red Cross story, as well as how to be more effective fundraisers.
The Clara Barton Society is now making a considerable difference in the overall funding picture for the Red Cross, and has already resulted in a number of significant donations to support the valuable work of the American Red Cross.