The Catholic Community Foundation of the Archdiocese of New Orleans is one of the oldest and largest philanthropic organizations in the region. Its mission is to create a thriving community for all. Every day, the Catholic Foundation joins other foundations, nonprofit organizations, community leaders and government officials to address the needs of the community and build consensus for solutions. #iGiveCatholic is an annual 24-hour online giving event that provides parishes, schools, ministries and nonprofits affiliated with partner archdioceses and dioceses the opportunity to connect with their current donors and establish relationships with new donors. The goal of #iGiveCatholic is to inspire the Catholic community to come together as faithful stewards and to "Give Catholic" on #GivingTuesday, a global day of giving back. In 2017 and 2018, The Catholic Community Foundation reached out to Gambel Communications to enhance the campaign’s impact across the country.
In 2017, The Catholic Community Foundation hosted its 3rd annual #iGiveCatholic day with an overall goal of raising $3.5 million for more than 500 participating organizations representing the 17 participating archdioceses and dioceses. Due to Gambel Communications’ efforts in 2017, $3.6 million was raised from 13,529 donors for 616 regional nonprofit organizations, surpassing The Catholic Community Foundation’s goal. Gifts came from 29 states and 6 countries.
Because of this success in 2017, The Catholic Community Foundation turned to Gambel Communications in 2018 for its 4th year of the campaign to generate increased interest and refresh the prior year’s initiative. The Gambel Communications team met regularly with The Catholic Community Foundation team to brainstorm new ideas and incentives for #iGiveCatholic and to adjust the local model so that it would be better received on a national level. What started as a New Orleans-based giving day began to grow to yield great national impact. With this strong foundation, Gambel Communications worked hand-in-hand with the Catholic Foundation to develop a strategic media and community outreach campaign complete with an announcement press conference, social media campaign and training webinar, as well as various day-of events and activities to take place on and prior to November 27, 2018.
In 2018, The Catholic Community Foundation’s goal was to exceed its results from the year prior. With 29 participating archdioceses and dioceses representing more than 2,500 organizations spanning from Alaska to New Jersey, there was an even greater need for exposure throughout the United States during the fourth year of #iGiveCatholic.
Gambel Communications planned a finely tuned media outreach campaign focused on increasing community awareness and participation to meet The Catholic Community Foundation’s goals. To prepare for media relations implementation, Gambel Communications developed a written #iGiveCatholic plan, crafted messaging, prepared media materials, created a customized media list and held editorial meetings. Gambel Communications also held an announcement press conference as a key component of #iGiveCatholic’s plan to increase community awareness about the #GivingTuesday online giving day.
Gambel Communications ramped up its social media strategy, focusing on targeted social media advertising campaigns and engaging content. As part of its digital content mix, Gambel worked with The Catholic Community Foundation to develop a sharable video that the participating archdioceses and dioceses used across all social media platforms and Gambel Communications distributed to a national audience via PR Newswire.
In addition to traditional media and social media exposure, Gambel Communications was instrumental in the planning process surrounding #iGiveCatholic events. Gambel Communications advised The Catholic Community Foundation on day-of logistics for #iGiveCatholic, which included media coordination, a war room with a giant leaderboard for day-of media visuals and off-site events at participating organizations.
Finally, Gambel Communications put together a comprehensive communications training for the participating archdioceses and dioceses. Gambel conducted a webinar to cover everything from press materials and e-blast templates, best practices in media outreach, a social media content calendar and more. Participants were able to ask questions during the training and use Gambel strategists as a continued resource in their ongoing communication efforts within their own unique communities.
Parishes, schools and ministries throughout the country were encouraged to sign up for #iGiveCatholic. All money raised by #iGiveCatholic was amplified on this one day of giving through a local pool of incentive dollars for participating organizations. Gambel drafted and distributed a media advisory to help spread the word and advised The Catholic Community Foundation on hosting local events to engage organizations.
To inform the target markets about #iGiveCatholic, Gambel Communications conducted targeted media outreach, garnering extensive coverage across all mediums – print, TV, radio, social media and online. Gambel Communications disseminated media materials and began setting up interviews with media, which included morning show appearances on all four major local television stations in New Orleans prior to #GivingTuesday and live remotes and coverage across major media outlets throughout the region. Gambel Communications also prepared and executed targeted media drops, providing the local newspapers and TV stations with #iGiveCatholic cookies and cupcakes, as well as buttons and signage.
On #GivingTuesday, Gambel Communications updated media throughout the day on dollars raised and donor participation. Gambel also disseminated a release via PR Newswire and Christian Newswire to reach a national and targeted audience with its #iGiveCatholic message. As a result, Gambel Communications garnered consistent local, regional and national coverage across all platforms leading up to, during and after the event.
Gambel Communications’ efforts created anticipation and excitement for #iGiveCatholic and ignited a philanthropic movement. As a result of Gambel’s outreach, there was extensive media coverage and social media engagement across the country. According to media monitoring software Meltwater, the total potential audience from media coverage was more than 100 million viewers.
In 2018, $5.6 million was raised for organizations, a 55% increase from 2017. 29 archdioceses and dioceses participated – making it the most successful Catholic crowd-funding event to date. The total number of donors was more than 23,000 overall at the close of the 24-hour period. Gifts came in from all 50 states, as well as 6 countries, including Afghanistan, Belgium, Canada, Hong Kong, Mexico and Puerto Rico. Because of the success in 2018, Gambel Communications continues to work closely with The Catholic Community Foundation and is gearing up for the 2019 #iGiveCatholic event which is set for December 3, 2019.