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April 2015 Takeaways: Rawhide Boys Ranch

Posted on Apr 26, 2015 by

Rawhide is a residential care center for court ordered and other at risk youth, incorporating a family living model. The ranch was started 1965 by John and Jan Gillespie. Early on, they connected with Bart and Cherry Starr who provided instant credibility. Miles, our presenter, has been with Rawhide for 6½ years. The following are a few highlights:

  • Rawhide has 3 major sources of funding: Car and other non-cash donations, Cash donations and Youth Placement (payments received for court ordered placements). The funds to complete the down payment for the Rawhide property came from a raffle for the corvette Bart Starr was awarded in January of 1968 as Super Bowl II MVP.
  • Rawhide began taking car donations in 1983 and the revenue generated continues to be their primary income source. Until 2004, very few other organizations were taking car donations.
  • Competition for car donations increased heavily, along with a series of other market changes (changes in the tax laws, a recession, and an increase car values followed by a decrease in car values). These changes forced Rawhide to continually evolve their strategies to maintain this revenue stream.
  • The success of their digital marketing efforts has generated another huge bonus for Rawhide. They’ve qualified for a Google Grant Pro award. For 2015, this grant equals $40,000 per month. These funds are critical as they continue to communicate their brand online.

“Change is inevitable. Progress is optional.” Miles said to be successful in marketing, you must take responsibility for your development. Market conditions continually evolve, so continual reinvention of marketing is critical.

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