World Vision International’s Aids Initiative: Challenging a Global Partnership

Topics: Partnership, Robert Pierce, World Vision Pages: 5 (1781 words) Published: November 18, 2012
World Vision International’s AIDS Initiative:
Challenging a Global Partnership

World Vision International is a $1 Billion Christian relief and development partnership that is made up of 48 national members forming a federation. Founded in the United States by American Bob Pierce in 1950, the organizations mission was to implement common goals and strategies in fundraising, programming, and advocacy amongst the 48 independent members of the World Vision Partnership. WVI used its preexisting connections with evangelical agencies to meet emergency and relief needs for people in undeveloped countries. With communication channels already set up in churches and other institutions around the world, it was not hard for the company to get its message across to the public. For only around $10 a month, donors were able to support, and in essence save, a child’s life. For this monthly donation, a full time staff along with hundreds of volunteers work nearly nonstop to deliver photos and letters between the children in need and their host families. This effort allowed the donors to actually see how their money was affecting a life and therefore created a more personal, loving connection between them and the child they were supporting. A separate portion of the staff members worked in marketing creating appeals to attract as many donors as possible. By 2002, this brilliant partnership had raised a whopping $732 million in cash and nearly $300 million in commodities.

Many imitators have tried to recreate the business structure of World Vision International due to its success. The “feel-good” sense experienced by the donors after connecting with an impoverished child across the globe made it relatively simple to keep people on board for the WVI cause and even spread the word to others for support and donations. But this was not the only strength of World Vision International. The company was about much more than fighting to help one specific cause. An excerpt from their statement of core values reads: “...we are responsive to new and unusual opportunities. We encourage innovation, creativity, and flexibility.” What WVI had found was that most donors that were willing to help one cause would likely be willing to transfer their funds or even donate additional money for the sake of another. This concept made expansion quite simple and in no time, the organization had shifted its influence to numerous other countries in South America like Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala, and Mexico.

While living in the glorious U.S of A, sometimes we are trapped into tunnel vision and spoiled by the riches of our country. In a land where one can receive an income and healthcare while not even having a steady source of employment, it is easy to forget that there are millions of people in the world that do not have the funds to feed themselves or provide for their children. This leads me to my next point: there is an endless supply of causes that WVI can gain donations for and contribute to. Whether it be AIDS in Africa or poverty in South America, helping people who cannot afford to help themselves will always be appealing to people who do not suffer from the same problems. Another key component that separated WVI from other similar organizations was its corporate culture. The company was committed to using Christian values and principles in all aspects of their charitable business. Although reaching subjective goals and numbers were important to WVI, the backbone to raising brand awareness and brand strength was their emphasis on customer satisfaction; perfecting this is how they felt they would maintain and increase donations around the world. By using a program referred to as the Area Development Program, they were able to reach each community on more of an individual basis. Placing a coordinator from that country who understands the local language and cultures to manage a particular region, WVI was able to partner with each ADP and find the...
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