Over $120 Million Dollars in Their Biggest Fundraising Campaign Ever

The Catholic community had endured challenging financial responsibilities to the point where parishes could no longer put off desperate building repairs and updates. Even more essentially, they were having a hard time meeting the growing needs of their congregations and doing the much needed stewardship in their communities. After taking an audit from all of the parishes in the area, it became clear that the Archdiocese of Detroit needed to hold the biggest fundraising initiative in their over 300-year-history.

Through our faith-based marketing efforts, The Yaffe Group helped the Archdiocese of Detroit achieve their goal and raise over $120 million dollars.
There were four main objectives to this capital fundraising plan. To strengthen parishes, schools, priesthood and lay leadership development and to preserve the Catholic Church mission in Detroit.

To make this capitol fundraising plan connect with people emotionally and with the end result, we named the initiative Changing Lives Together. By calling it an initiative instead of a campaign, we achieved a more philanthropic and personable connotation in order to keep our messaging consistent, simple and in touch with Catholic values.

Yaffe wrote and designed all of the materials with a colorful and inclusive logo and theme that illustrated diversity and unity in a deeply religious way. These materials included an integrated campaign of videos, posters, invitations, newsletters, self-mailers, bulletin inserts, social media, logo and website. Changing Lives Together won the first place award from the International Catholic Stewardship Council for exceptional creativity and attractiveness.

We even developed a specialized print portal to streamline the initiative procedures. It allowed access for each parish to personalize their own resources with customizable templates, which we then printed and sent to them. The portal was also a gathering place for discussions and made it easy to update campaign language as it progressed.

To introduce the initiative and generate excitement, we produced two announcement videos. Featuring interviews with the Archbishop, lay people and parishioners, we created one video for leadership to get them engaged with and excited about the initiative and one for parishioners, to be screened as part of a special presentation during Mass.

Each parish decided on what their church needed, how much money it would cost, and what kind of talent they would need to accomplish it. Benchmarks and attainable goals were set along the way in five consecutive waves. Parish by parish, finances became stabilized and parishioners were feeling more connected than ever before.
To commemorate the initiative’s success, we commissioned a priceless work of art for each church and for those who went above and beyond to celebrate all of their hard work.

Through the outpouring of commitment and love, the Catholic community met their goal of over $120 million dollars and continues to raise funds. Changing Lives Together built a solid foundation that now supports the dynamic Christian life and has laid the framework necessary to continue God’s work as the Catholic community advances into the future.

Understanding the Faith & Human Nature Were Keys to Success

The video case study above gives you an inside look at how this campaign came about. It was our understanding of the Catholic faith and human emotions that drove the creative – combining a passion for doing good with a passion for helping our fellow human being. All the elements of the campaign needed to blend modern thinking with a classic Catholic feel in a way that would truly connect with our audience.