“I need your help!” John Ogle, vice president for development at the Luis Palau Association has had a longtime relationship with McConkey-Johnston, dating back to the mid 1980s and spanning three different ministry organizations. When he contacted M/J in the Fall of 2007 LPA was in the early stages of planning for Portland CityFest -- a massive “festival evangelism” outreach in the Pacific Northwest that was expected to draw more than 150,000 people to Portland’s Waterfront Park for two days of Christian music, family fun and powerful Gospel messages by evangelist Luis Palau.

“We’re concerned about how we can do a better job attracting and keeping new donors and partners through the 10 months leading up to and through CityFest,” John explained. Our conversion rates with other events haven’t been great. This year we’re adding a whole new dimension preceding the event called the ‘Season of Service’ to mobilize thousands of people to make an impact in the greater Portland area.”

Larry Johnston and Jeff McLinden from M/J became members of the CityFest team, working with John, Festival department head Doug Terpening, project manager Chris MacFarland and his crew. M/J helped shape the communications planning and execution in the months preceding the launch of CityFest, including the development of e-mail and mail communications designed to enlist involvement and support of Festival “Advocates” -- the volunteers, donors and friends who signed on to help in the months leading up to the event. M/J was also responsible for a sequential series of acquisition mailings to generate interest and support for the Festival.

John was pleased that M/J helped shape the development strategies for the event, itself, helping the LPA management team realize the potential of mobilizing significant numbers of Christian attendees via onsite engagement efforts combined with Festival messaging strategies encouraging audience members to “Change Your World.” “We hadn’t really considered the potential within the overwhelming percentage of Festival attendees who are already believers,” said John. “Larry and Jeff helped us focus on capturing and realizing that potential for long-term involvement within the community and, hopefully, for other events like this.”

Finally, M/J worked with LPA development communications manager Jacob Bailey to create a post-Festival follow-up and conversion strategy called “Champions for Change” that included sequenced communications to Festival-acquired names and donors and a unique website designed to engage and convert these prospects over an extended period of time.

Portland CityFest drew 185,000 people to the Portland downtown for the two-day celebration of service to the community and Luis’s powerful preaching. Post-festival activities are still working to engage long-term support for LPA activities and outreaches across the globe.

According to John Ogle, “McConkey-Johnston is the finest development consulting firm in the Christian world. I highly endorse them and recommend them to anyone who needs help raising funds to advance their efforts to further the Kingdom of Jesus Christ.”