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   Get Behind the Vest: A Fundraising Campaign for Chicago Police Officers
   Integrated/Chicago Police Memorial Foundation/The Americas/Grisko


How do you raise $4 million to purchase 8,000 life-saving bulletproof vests for Chicago police officers? To help protect officers from gun related tragedies, the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation (CPMF) wanted to create a fundraising initiative to replace the 8,000 outdated bulletproof vests in use by Chicago police officers. CPMF reached out to Grisko to develop the campaign and introduce it to potential corporate and individual donors.


Identifying the human behind the badge. Through our research, we found that people are more likely to make a charitable contribution if they feel an emotional connection to the cause and are preventing a loss of life. We created a unique campaign strategy, identity and messaging—”Get Behind The Vest.” The campaign focused on the power of one bullet and the devastating effects it can have on an officer’s life. We developed an integrated communications plan to support the “Get Behind The Vest” initiative with a mix of creative executions, including a microsite to serve as an informational hub, social and email marketing platforms to leverage CPMF’s current support base, printed collateral for events and corporate meetings, added value digital banner ads to further extend the message, and a compelling video series that showcased stories of officers whose lives were saved by their vests. The creative was complemented by a strategic media relations plan, which included compelling pitches for targeted reporters at all major Chicago news outlets, as well as key community newspapers. These efforts, combined to elevate the awareness of the initiative’s launch, made a connection with the community and kept the initiative top of mind. Two months after the launch, Grisko also helped CPMF receive broad media coverage of a $1 million check presentation to the campaign. In winter 2014, CPMF unveiled a crowdfunding campaign to help extend the campaign’s reach, maximize its impact and allow for supporters to take a more active role by creating personal fundraising pages. This effort was promoted through digital, social and media relations.


Protect those who protect you. Since the launch of the “Get Behind The Vest” campaign, the initiative has raised more than $1.5 million and is going strong. The campaign launch received positive media coverage in all major Chicago print, broadcast and radio news outlets, reaching an audience of more than 4,375,000 people. Grisko continues to provide strategic guidance and creative as CPMF’s fundraising efforts continue.