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The Korean American Community Foundation is a philanthropic organization that provides support for economically struggling Korean Americans. One KACF member that we interviewed told us that this 15-year-old organization was truly a teenager… idealistic, energetic but still trying to discover itself.
One challenge we had to deal with was the “model minority” myth that all Asians are prospering in the United States. Many potential donors were unaware of the needs of the community. Others had been long-time donors who were being asked to help, yet again.
During our discovery phase it became apparent to us that our potential donors and the community we were helping all shared a common thread. All immigrants come to America to do better. To better their families and themselves. Koreans, in particular, are proud of how hard they work to better themselves and live by the creed: Do your best, then do better. We took this insight and used it as a basis for a communications campaign with the theme “We Can Do Better.” It reminded potential donors that we can all work a little harder to help our community.
The We Can Do Better theme was unveiled at the KACF’s annual fundraiser and greeted enthusiastically, with many knowing nods. It helped to convince the attendees to “pay back, pay it forward and pay respect” and enabled KACF to raise $1.2 million. And more important, has given the organization a powerful identity that will help them to better support those in need.