Each year, the Archdiocese of St. Louis conducts the Annual Catholic Appeal (ACA), a multifaceted outreach initiative that supports a wide range of programs and ministries. The funds they raise provide vital services to those in need, including the homeless and others living in poverty, families seeking Catholic education, those discerning religious vocations and many more. In 2021, the work of the programs and ministries supported by the Appeal were needed more than ever due to the challenges many in the region faced as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The ACA needed a strong communications campaign, centered around a universally relevant theme, to convey the greater need caused by the pandemic and inspire Catholics to provide both financial and prayerful support of the Appeal.
The Archdiocese of St. Louis partnered with Geile/Leon to develop the communications campaign that would support the 2021 Appeal by reaching 500,000+ Catholics in the St. Louis area and demonstrating the broad and positive impact their generosity has on the lives of those in need, ultimately encouraging them to unite in reaching the goal of raising $14.5 million.
Together with the Archdiocese, G/L conducted thematic concepting to determine the theme of the 2021 Appeal: “Thy Will Be Done.” G/L sought to effectively communicate this theme within the context of the ACA by cultivating a strong central campaign message and creative concept that would resonate with the Faithful of the archdiocese and mobilize them to give—unified support of the Appeal is an important way for all Catholics to respond to God’s call that we follow His will and share His many blessings with others.
G/L implemented this primary message and creative theme consistently across all ACA communication support, which included the development and final production of an Appeal video, 15 individual collateral material pieces and a direct mail solicitation effort comprised of 16 mailings, each with customized letters to audiences that range from parishioners to employees and clergy of the archdiocese.
Mailings and distribution of the Appeal support materials began in February 2021, with the formal launch of the Appeal in parishes beginning mid-April. The Appeal closes in August, with final fundraising results reported in September.