Case Study: Crisis in Kenya
● Could the campaign launch quickly enough, i.e., while the disaster was still a lead story in the media and still top of mind among its constituents?
“The more difficult question for MAP was whether to exclusively pursue narrowcast strategies or go out more broadly to our file,” says Martin Smith, marketing and communications director for MAP International.
“Our donors have always supported us generously when we’ve asked, no matter the circumstances. However, our support base consists largely of experienced medical missionaries and health professionals quite familiar with Kenya,” he says. “Given the level of community ties, we felt our donors would welcome the opportunity to have impact in this crisis, so we decided to move forward with a full communication plan.”
Emergency plan activated
On the morning of Jan. 3, Smith sent an e-mail to fundraising agency partner LW Robbins Associates, alerting it to the emergency appeal — which needed to drop within four business days. The Robbins team went into action, based on the emergency procedures the two teams had set in place ahead of time.
Within an hour of the original e-mail, MAP sent details on its emergency response in Kenya to the Robbins team. Within two hours, the organization prepared a donor data file and sent it to Robbins for processing.
That morning, the Robbins team huddled for a quick brainstorm.
“We had to decide if we had enough details about the situation to develop a compelling appeal,” says Gretchen Soter-Moody, account supervisor at LW Robbins. “The story was unfolding hourly, and we wanted to make sure the information communicated to donors would be accurate in four days time.”
After discussions with MAP, the Robbins team determined it had adequate content to move forward with the appeal, which would feature a direct-mail package and a voice mail message sent a day after the mail drop. Meanwhile, MAP’s in-house team planned a three-touchpoint e-mail campaign.