United Way of San Diego Fundraising Campaign

Challenge:

After Sept. 11, the entire nation was pulling together to support the relief efforts. While Sept. 11 charities received unprecedented donations, Nuffer, Smith, Tucker was concerned about the impact on its client – United Way of San Diego County – and other local charities not affiliated with a Sept. 11 fund. NST saw an opportunity for the United Way to step up and remind San Diegans to not only support national relief efforts, but also continue to contribute at home as well.

NST conducted research among local nonprofit groups to determine the extent of the problem, and nearly all said they were going to have to cut local programs because of a decline in donations. Articles from the Chronicle of Philanthropy mirrored the nationwide concern – charities all over the nation were bracing themselves for a difficult fundraising season.

In response to its research findings, NST devised a multi-faceted strategy to raise public awareness around this issue, including a prominent press conference and media relations efforts.

Results:

United Way donations increased 14 percent in 2001, totaling $25.7 million, surpassing its $25.2 million goal.

Every major media outlet in San Diego attended the press conference and ran stories.

A series of follow-up articles ran months following the press conference.

Local companies that regularly contribute to United Way increased contributions.