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St. Francis Center 

Fundraising Campaign Promotion

Challenge:

 

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many St Francis Center (SFC) clients – who work in the service industry - had been laid off or furloughed and were unable to pay rent. SFC Director Sister Christina Heltsley had been waging a battle since March 2020 to raise emergency funds to cover the shortfall. Finally, Heltsley reached out to PRxDigital to help publicize the shortfall and how it was impacting the Center’s programs and clients. In the words of Sister Christine: “This time, the assistor needed some assistance!

Goal:

  • PRxDigital was tasked with helping promote a fundraising campaign launched by Sister Christina to raise $230,000 – the money her tenants (the majority of whom are disproportionately low income and people of color) owed in back rent – so she could keep this vibrant community going during the pandemic and beyond.

Solution:

  • PrxDigital launched a media campaign to publicize the Center’s crisis and positioned Sister Christina as a “Modern-Day Mother Teresa” who needed community help. PRxDigital crafted a press release and organized an on-site press conference where reporters met Sister Christina, and toured the facilities including the school, food pantry and clothing closet. They had access to tenants’ apartments and conducted interviews, including an interview with Adelina Cortez, a laid off single mother of six children who lives in one of the Center’s affordable 2-bedroom apartments.

Results:

  • As a result of PRxDigital’s publicity efforts, Sister Christina’s story was covered by numerous broadcast and print media outlets throughout the Bay Area. The Mercury News and East Bay Times featured the story on their front pages with the headline “One Bay Area Woman’s Fight to Keep Families Housed: A mile from the richest neighborhood in America, a nun battles to keep tenants who can’t pay rent.” And then the donations started rolling in. Sister Christina quickly exceeded her $230,000 goal. Ultimately, the St. Francis Center received donations totaling over $1 million. Sister Christina directly attributes these donations to the publicity campaign and the power of raising awareness.

Results:

  • We have signed the St. Francis Center on as a client and continue to help Sister Christina share the amazing story of the St. Francis Center. PRxDigital provides the extra help and know-how needed to ensure Sister Christina and the work of the St. Francis Center attract the support and attention needed. We provide the extra help and know-how to make sure Sister Christina and the work of the St. Francis Center get the support and attention they deserve.