Archive for January, 2013

This Is Why We Do What We DoDuring the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend, Volunteers of America launched a new national advertising campaign focused on a central theme: “This is why we do what we do.™” Created in collaboration with The Richards Group, a top branding and advertising firm based in Dallas, the campaign was produced last summer and the print ads feature the faces of actual clients served by our organization. It was important for us to include real people to make a stronger connection between the work we do and the lives that are transformed by that work every day.

This kind of ad campaign is something new for Volunteers of America. For a long time, we’ve described ourselves as an organization that’s “on the front lines, not in the headlines.” We’ve focused our attention on serving those in need rather than seeking out attention. While remaining humble servants certainly is important, I’m reminded of the Bible verse from Matthew 5:15 – “Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it gives light to all that are in the house.”

Now as much as ever, it’s critically important for us to make this kind of investment in “brand awareness.” Our clients depend on us not only to provide basic services like housing, but also to provide them with a voice and preserve the assistance on which they depend. We owe it to them to be good stewards of the resources entrusted to us, and to ensure that the organization has access to additional resources – financial resources, in particular – to continue sustaining and growing the programs we offer to those who need us. An organization like Volunteers of America can’t do that if we remain anonymous. To compete and survive in an economic environment where an increasing number of charities compete for a dwindling pool of funding, while also responding to a growing number of people who need help, we must do whatever we can to distinguish ourselves and inform others about the needs of our clients.

We plan to air a second round of television ads later this spring around Memorial Day on cable news networks including FOX News, CNN, MSNBC, Headline News, as well as on “CBS Sunday Morning.” We’re also working to secure print ads in a number of high-profile print publications. While we normally shy away from blowing our own horn, we feel that our clients are best served when we do what we can to bring the issues that affect them out into the spotlight.

To learn more, visit www.VolunteersofAmerica.org, or view the new ads on Volunteers of America’s YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/VolofAmerica.

– By Mike King, National President and CEO, Volunteers of America

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