Fraser Helping California Cares

Faced with a de crease in donations and increased demand for services in the wake of Sept. 11, a new coalition of California nonprofit organizations last week launched a campaign urging the public to support local charities.

The effort, created by Fraser Communications in Santa Monica, Calif., includes four 30-second TV spots, as well as radio and print ads. Spending is roughly $2.5 million. Nearly half of the airtime and space has been donated by TV stations and newspapers, and many of the spots will be used as PSAs.

The campaign targets Californians 35 and over, said Renee Fraser, agency president and CEO. It follows a survey of 413 California nonprofits, which reported a $25 million decrease in donations and a 60 percent uptick in demand for assistance.

With only four weeks from the start of the assignment to the air date, the 20-person shop established a name for the group—California Cares—and se cured donated rights to songs such as John Len non’s “Imagine,” Stevie Wonder’s “Higher Ground” and The Who’s “My Gen eration.”

Agency creative director John Krue ger said the songs were selected to “reawaken the social consciousness of Californians.”

The spots use simple images, including a man cradling a child in his arms and one candle slowly lighting another. Onscreen text reports that 100,000 Californians have lost their jobs since Sept. 11 and one out of four kids lives in poverty in the state. The ads end with the line: “When your local charity asks for help, answer with generosity.”

Ads are running through the holidays, typically a “make-or-break time of year” for many charities, said Peggy Hinz, vp of communications for the California Endowment, one of the coalition members.

Other members include the United Way, the League of California Community Foundations, Northern California Grantmakers and the Southern California Association for Philanthropy.