The Salvation Army Turns Lives Around


The Salvation Army is one of the most respected organizations in the nonprofit world and provides a broad array of social services to help Americans in need around the world. They needed help to increase donations in the Los Angeles area and determine the most motivating Passion Points©to drive donations. Our mission based framework laid the foundation to determine the most important donation drivers and develop an insight-driven video to link to an email appeal that succeeded in increasing their open rates and increasing the average gift that resulted.

5 Major Passion Points© Drive Donations

Passion Points©are the strongest donation motivators for any nonprofit and connects the nonprofits mission to the giving heart of their donors. We studied 20 different potential Passion Points©to determine which would motivate giving and five key Passion Points©rose to the top.

Sees The Need In Your Local Community

  • Working on the ground, in your community, every day, and sees what needs to be done — and then makes sure it happens.  So funds go directly to those who most need them in your local community.

Feeding the Hungry In Your Community

  • Feeding the hungry in your community who would have otherwise gone without.

Housing For Those Fleeing From Domestic Violence

  • Help put a roof over the heads of single moms and their children, fleeing from domestic violence situations

Helping Returning Veterans

  • Give recently-returning veterans struggling with post traumatic stress disorder a chance to regroup at a homeless shelter especially designed for their needs, including medical attention, counseling, job placement assistance, drug and alcohol dependency treatment if needed, and more

Funding Transitional Homeless Programs 

  • Helping fund transitional living programs, group homes, and emergency shelter specifically designed to help the homeless.

Network Mapping

Here, Now, Local “Hands-Up” Passion Points© are Central, Important, and Connected


Developed in sociology 30 years ago to see the patterns of people/concepts among each other. Primary tool used by CIA/NSA today to detect terrorist cells

  • Centrality: MIDDLE of the map occupied by concept most linked to others … the “hub”
  • Importance: LARGE items are systematically linked to external measure (Interest in donating to SA in the future)
  • Color: Part of the same dimension – tightly linked to each other

Other U.S. and International Efforts of Less Importance


The Big Idea

The big idea is giving people a hand up in the local community. The Salvation Army is in your community every day, really knows the people and are able to identify those in true need.

Helping those around the world will always remain part of their mission, as well as their ongoing longer-term U.S. efforts. However, we learned this is not a donation driver and thus should not be a key message in their email appeals.

We briefed their creative team to help focus their donor email appeal on the most compelling aspects of The Salvation Army. Working with the team, we also created a short video to attach to their email focusing on the big overarching idea of how The Salvation Army is an integral part of the local community and is often the front line in responding to local needs.

In addition featured the other top motivating Passion Points©.

  • Feeding the hungry locally
  • Domestic violence assistance
  • Veterans struggling
  • Transitional living programs

The Appeal


The Results