How do you raise $4 million to purchase 8,000 life-saving bulletproof vests for Chicago police officers?

The purpose of the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation (CPMF) is to support the families of catastrophically injured Chicago police officers. CPMF’s new initiative directly focused on protecting the officers themselves and sought Grisko’s strategic communications expertise. Grisko developed marketing and PR campaign that drove fundraising efforts to help protect officers from gun related tragedies.

75 percent

of all Chicago police officer line-of-duty deaths are gunfire related.

58 percent

increase of police officer deaths from firearms in the United States since 2013.

500 dollars

The starting cost of a bulletproof vest.

Identifying the human behind the badge.

Research showed people were more likely to make a charitable contribution if they felt an emotional connection to the cause and were preventing a loss of life. Our campaign strategy, brand identity and messaging—”Get Behind The Vest” —focused on the power of one bullet and its devastating effects on an officer’s life.

The “Get Behind The Vest” initiative included a mix of creative executions. To create a strong emotional connection, the centerpiece of the campaign was a compelling video series. “Stories Behind The Vest” showcased first-person accounts from officers whose lives were saved by their vests.

A microsite served as an informational hub. Social and email marketing platforms activated CPMF’s base of support. Collateral was developed for events and corporate meetings while online display and outdoor ads extended the message. Grisko executed a crowdfunding initiative to extend the campaign’s reach and allow ambassadors to drive additional support through personal fundraising pages.

Strategic media relations drove a PR effort that worked in synergy with marketing to amplify the GBTV message. Compelling pitches targeted reporters at all major Chicago news outlets, as well as key community newspapers. These efforts, combined to elevate initiative awareness, including media coverage of a $1 million check presentation to the campaign.

Protect those who protect you.

Our eight-month campaign raised enough funds to purchase 3,367 vests – 89 percent above the projected one-year goal. GBTV received positive media coverage in all major Chicago print, broadcast and radio news outlets, reaching an audience of more than 4,375,000 people. CPMF continues its efforts to raise funds to protect officers.