Meredith Dunn Hello. My name is Meredith Dunn. I’m the web team’s new intern, and I have never blogged before.

I recently graduated from Liberty University with a B.S. in Business Marketing. I can honestly say that I have a true passion for business and a genuine love for marketing. They’re challenging, they inspire, they’re innovative, and they’re excellent examples of competition in our socially saturated and economically dependent culture.

At the same time, marketing stimulates and increases jobs, technology, products and services, as well as creates economic stability for our country and the world. Ever since my first week of college, I have wanted to be a business woman, never once having changed my major or my mind.

That being said, upon graduating, I was very apprehensive about entering into the “Corporate America” setting. I despised the idea of reporting to an office, sitting in a cubical behind a computer, and being forced to substitute “number crunching” for human contact.

More than that, I have a deep, intrinsic fear that I will get lost in some cosmic void, becoming obsessed with work, money, the stock market, and most of all … myself.

I have witnessed such lifestyles. The selfish pursuit of wealth has left its captives devastated, lonely, and feeling as though their lives are without an innate meaning or profound purpose.

Scared of becoming yet another cog in this immortal and endless machine, I desperately wanted to find a place to work that would fulfill the deepest passion and longing in my soul: to make a difference.

I think that any Christ-follower, because of the change that Jesus has made in his or her heart, wants every area of life to be reflective of His image and productive for His kingdom. He has in fact called some to go to “Corporate America” to be a light. Others He has called to the medical field, mission field, or asked that they simply mow a field. Whatever the individual case may be, God has absolutely created and fashioned each of us with a specific talent, tool, or trade that we are to use for His glory.

My new journey begins here, at Compassion, where I will be interning for the next six weeks. I am working in the marketing department, and as I said earlier, I’m on the web team.

For those of you who noticed, a first-time blogger might not be the best asset to a technologically savvy web team. But God has a sense of humor, and so here I sit blogging to you, my webby friends.

As an outlet of emotions as well as an avenue of ideas, opinions and some much needed help, I will be writing to you frequently to keep you posted on the inner workings and latest happenings of Compassion.

My specific task is to create a new marketing campaign that will not only spur and maintain your dedicated interest, but hopefully spark the interest and hearts of others.

As I attempt to complete this assignment, I would truly appreciate and welcome your input, thoughts, suggestions, and constructive criticism (note: criticism is the last on the list) :-) It is my hope to craft a marketing campaign that will be effective and efficient in gathering sponsors for our children.

You, Mr. and Mrs. Reader, are the target market. It is your attention that we want to capture and captivate. It is you we want to engage and involve. And with that being said, please be open and honest as I come to you with questions, ideas, etc. You know we will.

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  1. Jul 9, 2008
    at 6:20 am

    As a new sponsor (Feb 2008), I really enjoy reading about specific kids in the program, and what Compassion is doing for them. I read the posts on the bigger issues (Global Food Crisis etc) but I’m drawn to the ones about individual kids. Good luck with your internship!

  2. Jason
    Jul 9, 2008
    at 9:57 am

    You’ve taken on a difficult task. Essentially, your job is to convince a self-indulgent generation to look beyond themselves and put the “needs” of others before their own “wants.” (I’m using quotation marks for emphasis) One would think this task would be much simpler based on your target audience or the majority of your target audience are indeed Christians. (I’m assuming this based on the approach you took in your message and the overall purpose and goals of Compassion) Unfortunately, it seems western Christians have been slowing lulled into a life of little action and endless talking. I hope you are an example of what James calls a “Doer.” I too want to be a “Doer,” so I look forward to giving Compassion my financial support, you my humble ideas, and hopefully God my life.
    Best wishes in your campaign to help us see beyond ourselves.

  3. Jul 9, 2008
    at 10:16 am

    For a first-time blogger, that was a well-written post. Keep it up! :)

  4. Lindy
    Jul 9, 2008
    at 11:20 am

    I’m very impressed by your heart and your writing! I pray this internship will be a wonderful blessing for many, many people–you included!

  5. Jul 9, 2008
    at 12:05 pm

    We just became sponsors of a sweet little boy a few months ago. I think the thing that has hit me the hardest is the importance of letters. I honestly had no idea how much it might mean to a child. I like stories that focus on a particular child or family; it makes it personal. That tugs at my heart the most.

  6. Jul 9, 2008
    at 12:33 pm

    You have chosen a simply wonderful group for your internship!

    I’m sure that not only will you find ways to motivate and “entertain” us, but I’ll bet that you receive an abundant blessing in return!

    Good luck the next six weeks!

  7. Jul 9, 2008
    at 1:25 pm

    “And with that being said, please be open and honest…”

    Your picture is crooked.

    Just kidding–welcome aboard. I’m think’n about doing a billboard campaign where I sit atop a Compassion Billboard for like 100 days until a certain number of kids are sponsored. We bring local Christian radio and TV and to publicize the ‘event’.

    Thoughts?

  8. Jul 9, 2008
    at 4:34 pm

    You would sit on a billboard for 100 days!?! LOL Now that’s dedication! You’d certainly get some publicity!

  9. Jul 9, 2008
    at 4:42 pm

    That makes me think of Julia Butterfly Hill who sat in a Redwood tree for 2-years to protest the cutting down of redwoods in California. That campaign actually worked. She saved those trees.

    I definitely think Compassion’s new marketing plan should involve Compassion Dave sitting on a billboard. :)

    Compassion Dave, you are very cool!

  10. Miriam
    Jul 9, 2008
    at 7:13 pm

    Well, Dave finally said “welcome”. I wanted to second that. I hope you find your time with Compassion rewarding.

    My best advice to you is to remember who you are communicating with. By my count, you are seeking to communicate with at least four generations of Americans. And each one seems to believe that the others are the most selfish. (Believe it or not, I have had Baby Boomers, who are still whining as they near 65, tell me that your generation is the most selfish, with which I disagree.)

    The truth is, Americans have heard for years that we are wealth good-for-nothings (except please give us your money). I’m not saying that Compassion has been saying that, but it had been a general strain in the lives of every generation alive today in America.

    I find Proverbs 29:18 to be correct when it says “When there is no vision, the people cast off restraint.” Or you might say, it is for lack of understanding how the rest of the world works, for lack of knowing what God is doing in the world and how to be part of it and for lack of attainable yet far reaching goals, Americans in general and Christians in particular don’t do more. It is my understanding from your blog that it will be your responsibility to communicate these things for Compassion. No easy task in six months.

    I began sponsoring children though Compassion anywhere from 18 – 19 years ago. I was a “starving college student” straight off of the mission field at the time. I have always liked Compassion’s approach of sponsorship and using the local church in project areas. That’s why I have stuck with them so long.

    But frankly I have never done it to “fight poverty”. I have always done it to give a child the opportunity to know Christ (without whom, if they gain the whole world, they still have nothing) and the opportunity to change their current circumstance. You will note, I said the opportunity. What they do with that opportunity is up to them. I’m not responsible for their choices. Sponsors can have a lot of influence in these children’s lives, but there is a limit even to that. I don’t know to this day if the first child I sponsored ever came to Christ, even though I still pray for her.

    So I think American Christians need to understand the great opportunity that they have to be involved, to partner with brothers and sisters in Christ in other countries and to make a difference.

  11. Advocate
    Jul 9, 2008
    at 9:07 pm

    The Magazine needs to have a brochure staples in, so that people can put it out and people can sponsor a child from the insert. I like to order extra for doctor’s, dentists, auto shops, etc…–anywhere you have to wait. Lots of sponsors will put them in a waiting room or break room etc… if you just ask them to.

    The stories help!

    I also had an idea to have sunshades for our car windows with something like “Join Me in the Fight Against Poverty” http://www.compassion.com. Or your new slogan!

    Also, the DVD’s and other advocate tools could have suggested uses next to the title and times of each piece. There are a lot of options, and I have watched most (if not all) of them, but then I forget what they are, and I have to go looking for my notes. (Use for offeratory, etc…) Also, the Quick Slideshow and the Compassion Sunday CD should be on the Advocate DVD.

    I am hoping that the new Hope Lives series will be picked up by some churches and that we will have some real growth through this.

    You may also want to consider how to recruit more advocates. Some people may not realize how easy it is to set up a stand or present to a Sunday School class.

    Thank you for working on this. We put a lot of time into calling churches and hoping for Compassion Sundays. Thank you for working to make our time more effective!

    May His Kingdom Advance Rapidly Through Your Efforts!

  12. Jul 10, 2008
    at 8:25 am

    Welcome to the team, Meredith. My husband has worked in business and marketing for … well, maybe he wouldn’t want me to say the number of years. Let’s just say — many. And you’re right. The industry always needs people to be a light in the darkness.

    That said, you’re getting a great start at Compassion. They are known for their strong, cutting-edge, innovative marketing. Have a great summer! Soak up all you can!

  13. Jul 10, 2008
    at 8:46 am

    I’ve had the idea for a while, but the other day my local newspaper ran a story and photo about people chaining themselves to dog houses to protest the (and I’m not kidding about this)dogs being chained to dog houses.

    Apparently it isn’t politically correct any longer to chain a dog to his dog house.

    Anyway, not to belittle ‘their’ cause, but it go me thinking, “Some things are just a tad-bit more important”.

    There are a lot of particulars to iron out, but if it is God’s will for me to draw attention to the plight of children (who in many cases do not eat as well as our family pets, then so be it.

    cd

  14. Steve
    Jul 10, 2008
    at 5:06 pm

    I want to be the guy mowing the field…Great first piece.

  15. Pat Crawford
    Jul 13, 2008
    at 4:59 pm

    Great post Meredith. I want to leave all the little thoughts about it and the comments it generated alone for now and just give you what sponsoring has meant to me. This, I hope, will give you some ideas about your marketing campaign.
    I have sponsored two children in two different countries for about 8 years now and have found it to be very rewarding. This is because of the ability to correspond with the children (esp. using E-mail to write). It makes it possible to watch them grow spiritually, physically, and intellectually. Because of this, they have become like adopted children or grandchildren to me. Everything is personal…
    When I talk about them with friends, it is really bragging about how they have grown in Christ, what accomplished in school, and how they respond to life’s situations, etc.
    I guess what I am saying is that it is more about helping to raise and encourage your child than being able to just say, “I sponsor a child.” In fact, over the years, both boys’ families have had the children send comments in their letters to me. To me, this indicates that the love of Christ is being extended far beyond what we will ever realize.
    Anyway – – God bless you – – Pat

  16. Caitlin M Helm
    Jul 15, 2008
    at 8:10 am

    First your first blog, I think you did extremely well at allowing people to see inside your mind, and heart. You have a wonderful way with words, and I look forward to reading more of your blogs in the future.

    I am glad to see that you are following your heart, and not allowing money and fame to stand in the way. Your heart is pure, and you want to save those for Christ. Compassion is lucky to have you on their team. Good Luck Meredith!

  17. R Lee
    Jul 15, 2008
    at 2:43 pm

    Great first post! Just a very small and simple suggestion. Save the Children had an option on their website to give in honor of your mother in the month preceeding Mother’s Day. You give online and type in who it’s in honor of. There’s a simple card from STC that you can print out, write on and mail to your mother. So that’s what we did on Mother’s Day. We gave to Save the Children because they had that as an option. We would’ve been open to giving to a number of quality organizations but we went with the one that had that bright idea and made it easy for us. Seems like that would be an easy thing to add to Compassion’s website and might bring in some extra one-time donations for very little cost to the organization.

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