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Why the 68,000 Remember Campaign?

Some of our supporters have asked about our rationale for the 68,000 Remember campaign and the Wall of Support.

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Here is an email we received from one of our long-time and very generous supporters.

My husband and I have been Spirit of America supporters for several years because we feel it provides us with a way to support the troops directly while improving conditions in the countries they work in. Unfortunately I feel that this is a bit lost with the 68,000 Remember campaign. Although I appreciate the effort to create a wall of photos to remember the troops, it seems that the effort the support them by providing them with the tools and materials they need doesn't get much attention.

I have seen the requests for donations been answered and fulfilled within hours or days but for this particular effort there seems to be no request for donations at all. As a result this campaign hasn't raised much money and I'm starting to think that our contribution could have been better used if we had chosen another project.

We really appreciate it when our donors contact us with their questions and concerns. We know that if one person asks a question, many others have the same question.

As with all of Spirit of America's outreach and marketing efforts, the ultimate goal of the 68,000 Remember campaign is to get more people supporting Spirit of America's work helping US troops in Afghanistan and providing them precisely what they say is needed. However, the campaign takes a less direct approach to achieve that goal than we have used before.

The idea is to provide an efficient (hopefully "viral") way for new people to learn about Spirit of America and an easy and enjoyable way (via photos) for them to get involved without asking for an immediate donation. Once they are involved and learn about SoA our goal is to have them become financial supporters.

Nonetheless, in the campaign we do directly ask people to make donations through the 68,000 Remember main page. And on the web, on the campaign Facebook page and in media appearances we promote the ability to donate $10 by texting TROOPS to 20222.

As with any specific project our donors support, 100% of all donations we receive through the campaign will be used to provide what our troops say is needed to help them help the Afghan people. Although we have a campaign goal, we won't wait to start putting campaign donations to work. Thus, every dollar will provide them the tools and materials they need and help them improve conditions in Afghanistan. We will allocate 68,000 Remember campaign funds to respond to the highest priority needs we receive from US military personnel.

The campaign is already producing results we would not otherwise achieve. This past week Spirit of America had several media appearances, including Fox and Friends, that were driven entirely by interest in 68,000 Remember (in part because the Wall of Support photos make great visuals for television). And, the New England Patriots professional football team participated in the campaign. We've never had a professional team support our work.

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The jury is still out on whether 68,000 Remember will "go viral" and generate extraordinary support. As such, the campaign is still an experiment.

Spirit of America continues to promote and encourage direct giving to specific projects and needs in Afghanistan.

Please contact us anytime you have a question or concern about our work.

The Spirit of America team

No endorsement of Spirit of America by the US Department of Defense or its personnel is intended or implied.