St. Joseph’s Parish is a Catholic Church located in Lake Orion, MI. The history of St. Joseph’s dates all the way back to the 1800’s, and the Parish today consists of over 3,000 households as members today.
From 1997-2003, St. Joseph’s expanded and modernized their church to meet the needs of their growing congregation. In order to cover the cost of this expansion, the church accepted a loan from the Archdiocese of Detroit. Making payments of $39,000 per month, the church was on pace to pay their debt down by 2027.
In 2019, St. Joseph’s put together a plan to pay the remainder of debt ($3.7 million) by 2022, which would in turn save them a total of $700,000 in interest. In order to make this possible, they needed the financial support of their members. St. Joseph’s hired Drive Creative to design and construct environmental marketing pieces to assist in the promotion of debt elimination campaign.
The timeline was tough to say the least. We were given 3 weeks, start to finish, to not only come up with messaging and design for this campaign but also have everything fabricated, printed, and installed. Luckily, the name of the campaign was already chosen; Living Stones. This gave us a creative foothold to build off of. We chose simplistic messaging that would help drive our point home that the Parish needed financial assistance from their members in order to pay down the debt.
Complimenting pieces provided donation-thermometers that the parish could utilize to showcase the real-time financial contributions that were made by the congregation thus far. This strategy was used to motivate parish members to donate to the church and help them reach their goal as soon as possible. The creative, imagery and messaging changed based on location. The marketing pieces used in the school focused on students and athletics, whereas imagery in the church focused on mass, weddings, and baptisms.
It was reported to us that after 1-week of the campaign launch, a total of $180,000 was pledged to the church which far exceeded their original expectations for week 1. The campaign is still in progress, being a 3-year effort in itself. We expect the client to reach their goal of $3.6 million well before their initial 3-year timeline.