Grappling With Growth
Aschermann breaks down the centennial campaign’s goals very simply: “This campaign’s about creating awareness, hosting events and raising revenue,” he says.
Included in a series of centennial events is Kids Report to America, a survey of 46,000 young people around the country that was sent on Feb. 1 (the day after President Bush’s State of the Union speech) to various senators and congress people. Teens also will host town halls throughout the year to discuss the survey results.
Other events include the Red Carpet Reunion in Boston and the re-tooled America’s Day for Kids, which formerly was called KidsDay. Aschermann says 32 states already have endorsed America’s Day for Kids, and BGCA’s hoping the other 18 will come on board; it also hopes the president will declare America’s Day for Kids on a national level this year.
Aschermann says that the message for the centennial campaign, which will enter the public phase of fundraising during the second quarter, isn’t a lot different from the message BGCA regularly pushes: “But here’s the key difference: We’ve found in our survey of 46,000 young people that kids still come to the clubs to have fun, to be recognized, to feel safe, to know there are adults who care for them. We’re telling donors we specifically need their donations to continue to build new clubs and improve impact on the kids in those clubs.”
To date, BGCA has served more than 4.4 million young people ages 6 to 18, and Aschermann’s goal is to kick it up to 5 million by year’s end.
An aggressive advertising campaign also is in place for the entire year, including 52 space ads, each appearing weekly in newspapers such as The Wall Street Journal and USA Today, telling the stories of individual boys and girls served by the clubs. A public service announcment campaign will drop in the fourth quarter, including TV, radio and newspaper ads. Last year, BGCA sponsored 2,000 events across the country, which generated $5 million in revenue.