Compassion’s Customer Service

I have been a donor to Compassion International since January 2011, and since then I have experienced nothing but great customer service. Since most of the interactions the sponsors and donors have with Compassion International are through mailers and fliers, it is crucial that the information and messages that they mail out to their consumers is both interesting and engaging, so it does not end up in the trash.

A Compassion International sponsor is responsible for one donation a month. If this donation is somehow not received or if there is an error in the system, Compassion International handles the situation both gently and professionally. Once I switched banks and forgot to change my card number on my account with Compassion. I received a letter in the mail that noted “IMPORTANT INFORMATION REGARDING YOUR ACCOUNT”, so I knew I needed to read it. Since Compassion does not overload their consumers with junk mail, they are more likely to read the important messages.

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While a Compassion International sponsor is only responsible for one donation a month, there are many other holidays throughout the year. Your sponsored child’s birthday and Christmas are two holidays that Compassion International will always send a special letter regarding, letting you know it is possible to send a gift and/or an extra donation. Another way Compassion lets their sponsors know they can help their child is during disasters in their child’s home town. If a drought, tsunami, or other natural disaster has occurred, Compassion will notify sponsors and let them know how they can help. This is another way Compassion utilizes the important events and avoids overloading their consumers with messages.

ImageThese examples show that by not overloading their consumers with mailers and fliers, Compassion International does a great job through their main form of communication with theirconsumer. Through this type of communication, Compassion leaves themselves room to send my favorite kind of mail: a blank, paid-postage card, that says, “It only takes 5 minutes to write to your sponsored child!”

Goodbye for now!

 

Photos from http://www.compassion.com/

Connecting with Hearts- In More than One Way

There are many funding models that non-profits can use, and the one they choose is very important for the success of their organization.

The funding model Compassion International uses is called the “Heartfelt Connector”.

The heartfelt connector model involves connecting with sponsors at an emotional level in order to get them to donate. According to an article by the SSI Review, before considering the heartfelt connector model, an organization should ask themselves the following questions:

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  • Have a large cross section of people already shown that they will fund causes in thisdomain?
  • Can we communicate what is compelling about our nonprofit in a simple and conciseway?
  • Does a natural avenue exist to attract and involve large numbers of volunteers?
  • Do we have, or can we develop, the in-house capabilities to attempt broad outreach in even one geographic area?

For Compassion International, all of these questions can be answered with a yes. One way Compassion International gains sponsors is through Compassion Sunday which I have discussed in a previous blog. By doing this, Compassion is reaching a large cross section of people who are clearly interested in helping others, they are able to communicate in a compelling yet concise way, being at the church acts as a natural avenue to attract volunteers and sponsors, and these people can spread the word to other geographic areas.

The first place I heard about Compassion International was in Chapel at UMHB. I believe the Heartfelt connector is the best model for Compassion International because it is the way that I was exposed to the organization, and I was immediately compelled to become a donor after hearing the testimony of another individual and the facts about the children in other countries.

Another reason the heartfelt connector is important for Compassion International is because giving to this organization is not a one-time donation. Although you may set-up your direct deposit once, there are many times throughout the year that Compassion will send “emotionally” engaging mailers to their sponsors encouraging them to give extra to their sponsored child, such as during the holidays or around their sponsored child’s birthday.

Due to these reasons, I cannot see Compassion International using another funding model that would be more successful than the heartfelt connector.

Goodbye for now!

 

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A Tagline, or A Mission?

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For any company, the tagline can make or break whether or not a customer remembers your brand. For nonprofit organizations, this simple piece of marketing is vital. Compassion International has a headline that reflects their company values, speaks to donors and sponsors, and also explains their mission. 
 
“Releasing children from poverty in Jesus’ name”
 
While this tagline doesn’t rhyme, have alliteration or any sort of catchy jargon- it does encompass what Compassion International is all about. 
 
Compassion International has company values that are set to not only release children from monetary poverty, but also from spiritual poverty. By incorporating Sunday School and nursery classes that are focused on bible studies, children in the Compassion Sponsorship program are truly released from poverty, in Jesus’ name, just like their tagline states.
 
The second thing the tagline does for Compassion International is it lets donors and sponsors know that releasing children from poverty in Jesus’ name is their mission. Compassion International is not just set out to release children from monetary poverty or generational poverty, but they are willing to release children from these poverty situations and do it alongside Christ. Having these two goals as the main blocks of the tagline give it purpose, meaning and connection to potential donors and sponsors.
 
Finally, the last thing the Compassion International tagline does is explain their mission. Their mission statement reads:
 
“In response to the Great Commission, Compassion International exists as an advocate for children, to release them from their spiritual, economic, social, and physical poverty and enable them to become responsible and fulfilled Christian adults.”
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Basically, their tagline is a shortened version of their mission statement. This is true for most non-profit organizations, as well as for-profit organizations. A tagline’s purpose is to be associated with a brand or purpose, and since Compassion International puts their tagline with their logo every time- they should not have a problem with this type of recognition.
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Lessons from Coca-Cola

 

cokearoundtheworldAlthough Coca-Cola is not a non-profit organization, there is a lot that non-profits can learn from their business techniques. Coca-Cola is one of the few companies that has managed to be successful in every type of country, even countries that are in extreme poverty. Since Compassion International is a non-profit organization that deals with children and young adults from impoverished countries, there is a lot they can learn from Coca-Cola.

According to a Ted Talk by Melinda Gates, three main things that Coca-Cola does to be successful is use real-time data, entrepreneurial talent, and marketing. By using real-time data, Coca-Cola was able to realize that in foreign countries, using entrepreneurial talent is key. By showing the people of the country that selling Coca-Cola on a cart can be a way for them to bring in their own income, many of these people are able to make a living by doing this in their country and thus promoting Coca-Cola simultaneously. This is what leads us to Melinda’s third point of marketing. By using marketing techniques like this, Coca-Cola is not only bringing in revenue, but is also globalizing its brand. Today, Coca-Colas brand image can be recognized in almost any country.

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By using Coca-Cola’s techniques, Compassion International can also become a brand that is

recognized worldwide. Compassion International already promotes entrepreneurial techniques among it’s sponsors by encouraging them to participate in Compassion Sunday, where they host a Sunday church service in order to share the mission of Compassion International with their church family and allow them to adopt a child at the end of the service if they so desire. By doing this, they are not only allowing more children to be adopted and lives to be changed forever, but they are also exposing the brand to a whole new audience.

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The more that Compassion International is exposed, the more children will be released from poverty. It’s funny how two companies that have so little in common can learn so much from one another!

Goodbye for Now!

 

 

Images From:

http://coursethreads.berkeley.edu/media/image/coca-cola-around-world

http://www.compassion.com

 

Branding Compassion

In my last few posts, I have been discussing programs that Compassion International has implemented, how they have been successful and struggles they may encounter along the way.  Over the years, Compassion International has remained at the top of the food chain as a not-for-profit organization for more than one reason: brand integrity, brand ethics, and brand affinity,  Compassion International has distinguished itself as an organization and has made a huge impact in it’s line of work.

Nonprofits needed a new model to measure their success as an organization- one that allowed their brand to serve their mission while staying in line with their values and culture. A new model was formed and was called IDEA Framework. “IDEA” stands for brand integrity, brand democracy, brand ethics, and brand affinity

Compassion International meets the requirements for all four components of IDEA Framework, but today we will just look at three.

Compassion International easily meets the brand integrity segment of IDEA, because Compassion International is always emphasizing what makes them unique as  brand and promoting their commitment to integrity in their advertisements. Not only do they promote this quality in ads, but they also show it in their service to donors. ImageThe brand ethics are another segment of compassion that set them apart from other brands. When they describe what their commitments are, it only takes a few words: children, christ, and the church. This same honestly is echoed throughout the organization.

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The third way Compassion International sets itself apart from others is through brand affinity. Compassion International works alongside other brands such as Extraordinary Women and StudentLife, and both of these conference type organizations have nothing but good things to say about partnering with Compassion.

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All of these reasons (and more!) make Compassion International a wonderful organization to chose as a way to adopt a chid in need. Not only does Compassion International have brand identity, ethics, and affinity, but they are also doing things the right way- “In Jeses’ Name”.

Goodbye for Now!

All photos from Compassion International

Breaking Through the Challenges

Launching a new product, program, or campaign involves many risks and challenges, especially for a non-profit organization. When Compassion International decided to launch their Future Leader program, they probably faced many challenges and obstacles unique to their organization.

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In order to decide what the obstacles are for a program, we first must decide what our targeted demographic is. For Compassion International, the targeted demographic of potential sponsors is:

  • Americans
  • Christians or Potential Christians
  • Middle to Upper Class
  • Those who have interest in enhancing the well-being of others
  • Those who are interested in spreading the gospel
  • Typically generous and unselfish with their money

Now that we know what our targeted demographic is, we can asses how Compassion handles potential issues regarding the Future Leader Program (which I discussed in my previous post that discussed Building Leaders.)

An example of a challenge of the Future Leader program is finding sponsors for the young adults this program supports. When most people think of sponsoring an individual in a foreign country, they think of sponsoring a young child who is sick or needs food and shelter- not a young adult who is trying to further their education.

ImageOne way Compassion International is reaching out to their target market and persuading them to reconsider sponsoring a young adult, is by posting success stories on their webpage to show the blessings they can create in these ambitious, young people’s lives. 

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By seeing these images and reading these stories, an individual like the one we described as Compassion International’s target demographic is much more likely to sponsor a young adult and help them thrive in their education and career, all while learning more about God and building a new, personal relationship with their sponsor.

Goodbye for now!

Photos from Compassion International Website.

Building Leaders

Compassion International is not just a charity that helps children in poverty survive.

As I have written about in previous blogs, Compassion International is a charity that provides impoverished children with the necessities they need to survive and then encourages them spiritually and mentally so they can continue on to thrive as human beings. Compassion International also allows their monetary sponsors to benefit from the programs they support by offering free communication to and from their sponsored children and encouraging prayer in their relationship.

While all of these things make Compassion International both different than their competitors and a charity that I am happy to support, their programs are also a reason Compassion International has been voted in the top 1% of all charities for financial integrity for the past 12 years.

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Compassion International offers “A Lifetime of Compassion” for it’s sponsored children, and the program that I am most excited for my sponsored child, Vaati, to participate in is the LeadershipDevelopment Program.

This is a way for people to sponsor current students that came from poverty situations. This program is not only a way to help young adults succeed at gaining higher education, but it is also a way to help break the cycle of poverty. These people may be the first in their families to graduate college and obtain a job, which would create a new standard of living for their future family.

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Because of programs like this, Compassion International is not limited to age groups under the age of 18. Compassion International is not just concerned with helping children until they are “adults”. With programs like these, sponsors can help their sponsored children continue to thrive into their adulthood. Rather than “surviving” until adulthood just to fall back into a poverty life cycle, the Leadership Development Program allows sponsors to help their sponsored children become successful adults.

Goodbye for Now!

Photos from Compassion International Leadership Development Page

Thriving VS Surviving

How is Compassion International different than any other charity that donates money, clothing, food, shelter, or medication to children in need?
At Compassion International, their mission is not just about a lack of money. Their mission focuses on releasing children from poverty, one child at a time. Compassion International does not just focus on poverty on a monetary level, but they also focus on emotional and physical poverty. Compassion International believes that each child has a God-given potential to fill, and it is our duty to help them reach that potential when their human rights are stripped away. This is what makes Compassion International different from other charities like them!
Unlike their competition, Compassion International is not focused on having their sponsored children “survive“, they want their sponsored children to “THRIVE.” Compassion International is constantly encouraging the sponsors to communicate and engage with the child/children they sponsor, and reach out to them with special birthday gifts, Christmas donations, or photos of their personal lives.

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Compassion International is different than their competition because they encourage not only the children but also their sponsors. Compassion International sponsors are continuously encouraged to pray for, reach out to, and minister to their sponsored children as well as people in their communities about the mission Compassion strives to fulfill. Through volunteer activities and chances for sponsors to speak to their churches about this worthy cause, sponsors of Compassion International are given a whole new opportunity to reach out to others in faith.

By building children up spiritually while releasing them from poverty through money that is given by sponsors that are also being built up by Compassion International, this non-profit organization is making a huge difference in the lives of people on both ends of the monetary spectrum. Whether you are thriving in the USA or surviving by any means in Kenya, Compassion International is an organization that can help you.

Goodbye for now!

Photo From: http://spectator.bps101.net/?p=2119

Sponsoring Children in Jesus’ Name

tell-him-about-jesus-compassion-international-bannerFor the next 10 weeks, I will be doing a series of blog posts over Compassion International. I chose this nonprofit organization because I firmly believe in their mission and I am constantly amazed at what they do for their sponsors.

MISSION STATEMENT: “In response to the Great Commission, Compassion International exists as an advocate for children, to release them from their spiritual, economic, social, and physical poverty and enable them to become responsible and fulfilled Christian adults.”

Compassion International is an organization that reaches out for donors to become sponsors of children all over the world in order to break the cycle of poverty. Compassion International states,

“In a world where more than a billion children live on less than U.S.$2 per day, connecting one child with one sponsor is the most strategic way to end child poverty.”

Sponsoring a child includes almost all the basic necessities of life, such as:

  • Ongoing Christian training
  • Educational opportunities
  • Treatment and training to maintain child health
  • Development of self-confidence and social skills
  • Key life skills and vocational programs

Also, Compassion International pays for postage for you to write monthly letters to your sponsored child- and if you wish to write more than just one, you can always send one to a translator through email.

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Compassion International is doing amazing things for children all over the world, and the fact that $38 a month is enough to keep a child healthy and happy made it an easy decision for me to become a sponsor back in January of 2011.

My sponsored child, Vaati Munyoki, lives in Kenya. She enjoys jumprope, nursery schooland math, and her favorite thing to eat is rice and beans- these are all things she tells me in her letters. But what touches my heart the most when I get a letter from Vaati is how adamantly she tells me she prays for me each day. Vaati is only 10 years old, but she is a huge inspiration to my prayer life.

While I know Compassion International is making a huge difference for these children all over the world and building them up for the Lord, I can also personally attest that Compassion International is making a difference their sponsors.

Goodbye for Now!

 

First Photo By compassionbloggers.com

Second Photo by www.compassion.com/default.htm

theCLOUD

In the class the other day, we discussed what we would do if the laptops we use every day were suddenly gonebroken, in the shop, fried, or eaten alive by virus’s. Within 15 minutes, I realized how much I rely on my laptop everyday.

I use my laptop daily for Gmail, Facebook, Photoshop, my online banking, Microsoft Word, Powerpoint, and of course- Word Press. Fortunately, most of these applications would be accessible from any computer because they are on the internet. However, what about my $200 Photoshop CS5 program? And we all know that Microsoft Office for Macs isn’t exactly cheap– so how could I possibly cope without these two pricy programs for a week?

That’s why the Cloud is so great- theres an online version of basically any program. Through the Cloud, you can basically do anything that a desktop program can do. After learning about Google Docs, I have been using it more than Microsoft Word; not only does it save as you type, (a skill I can’t seem to grasp), but it saves to to your Google account– which means I can access it in class without having to bring my laptop from any computer. In my Computer Imaging class, we have Photoshop tutorials due every Friday. I bought Photoshop in order to avoid having to go to the ATEC Lab every week to work on my tutorials, but if my laptop is unobtainable, wouldn’t I have to? Thankfully, no. Websites that provide online Photoshop techniques like Piknic.com and Gimp.com would not only save me the 10 minutes I would have spent walking to the ATEC Lab, but it would also save me the initial stress of temporarily losing Photoshop.

Originally, I was upset knowing I could get all this software for free of the Cloud- but like anything else, you pay for better quality and all the extra bells and whistles. So while it’s great to know that life would not end without my laptop, it’s also important to know to never rely completely on the Cloud- but always know it’s there to fall back on.

Goodbye for Now!

Relaxing by the Cloud