Children’s Aid Foundation

A New Vision That Serves as a Springboard For Revenue Growth  

The Children’s Aid Foundation (CAF)) is Canada’s leading national charity dedicated to improving the lives of the 350,000 children and youth in the child welfare system. Many are at risk or have experienced neglect, abuse and abandonment. HALO led the process to create new Vision and Mission statements to serve as the springboard for a new strategic plan to achieve the campaign fundraising goal of $60MM by 2019.

Child protection is a “messy subject.” Research demonstrates that the public believes Government is primarily responsible for addressing this complex social issue. Many donor prospects say “child abuse cannot be ’fixed.”

HALO recommended that CAF ladder up. To convince donor prospects that they can make a difference, the CAF’s new Vision and Mission statements had to resonate with emotional needs that society values and that drive philanthropic giving. This meant shifting the paradigm from the position that the CAF traditionally occupied in the hearts and minds of Canadians.

Stakeholder Research
HALO undertook insight research with youth 15-21 who were currently receiving support from the CAF. They could see both sides of the issue and, while keen to acknowledge their sense of resiliency, they didn’t want to be defined by their past. They responded negatively to any words in concept statements that suggested that the CAF’s role was to protect or save them.

Youth responded most positively to concept statements tested by HALO that used the word success. They were only sensitive when the word was linked to traditional definitions of success that included post-secondary education. For them, success is highly individualistic and has to be more broadly viewed - made up of micro-successes knitted together. HALO concluded that to shift the paradigm, the CAF could not shy away from the power of the insight.

The idea that success for a child in care is sustainable is a powerful one. It suggests that the CAF can be a game-changer whose impact has a multiplier effect that extends well beyond the years that a child actually receives support. This benefit was captured in new Vision and Mission statements and will guide the way for a public-facing brand marketing and fundraising campaign.

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