When we’ve got big goals, it’s easy to get discouraged, distracted, tire out and look for something more manageable to achieve.
At Compassion, our goals aren’t just big, they’re Kingdom-size.
Today, our child development programs reach just a sliver – 1.8 million – of the 400 million children still living in poverty around the world.
Galatians 6:9 implores us to “not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” (NIV)
There’s a fundamental understanding among Compassion folk — whether we are sponsors, donors, volunteers or staff — that His Kingdom awaits, and we’ve got work to do.
This collective passion that propels our mission to release children from their spiritual, economic, social and physical poverty is matched by our commitment to doing it well.
This distinction captured the attention of our 25-year business partner Xerox, which named Michael Slanco, Compassion Director of Sponsor and Donor Services, and his team a Xerox 2016 In-Plant Hero for their collaborative and innovative use of Xerox technology and services to make a global impact.
“Compassion values print and technology as an enabler to accommodate its objective to release millions of children from poverty,” says Rob Piersielak, director of production line of business for Xerox. “Michael’s team goes above and beyond to integrate the organization’s mission with the Xerox technology they have and its capabilities.”
An “in-plant” is an in-house reproduction department operated within an organization. Ours operates at our headquarters in Colorado Springs. Only about 10 percent of in-plant print shops are as integrative and effective as Compassion’s, explains Rob.
“Compassion’s in-plant reproduction center is in the top echelon of in-plants in the U.S.,” he says. “A lot of companies want to get there, but they are like, ‘How?’ It’s a good time to be responsive, getting out within other departments to see how they can integrate. If they can do that, they can figure out how to be relevant to their parent organization, to their community and, sometimes like Compassion, to the world.”
“We could outsource this work,” says Rick Frame, Compassion’s distribution service center senior manager, “but we’re so passionate about the speed, accuracy and quality of every communications piece, it’s too important to give that to someone else.”
Michael and his team oversee the ministry’s print and digital communications from start to finish. These pieces include child letters, sponsor welcome packets, letter-writing stationery, child updates and birthday cards. Each piece is automatically customized for one of our more than 1 million sponsors or 1.8 million sponsored children.
“Our experience has been that Compassion’s in-house facility produces high-quality partially because we are so passionate about what we do,” says Michael, who’s in his 25th year at Compassion. “It’s the same reason we have an in-house call center and an in-house finance department.”
The team’s customized communications palpably connect each child and sponsor and help to nourish and strengthen the relationship.
And though our sponsorship model has not changed much in our 64-year history, Michael’s team continually looks for new ways to make sponsorship communications the best those can be without compromising impact.
“I am proud of the teams I lead who have embraced the future and are constantly looking toward what we can do better,” says Michael. “Ultimately, the technology we use will allow Compassion to grow to release more children from poverty, and we will be able to support that growth.”