Business Donates to Help Children ... in Mexico
Friend James Taylor
went to Mexico over 30 years ago. And he stayed.
Today he is the Director of Casa De Santa Hipolita AC, a Foundation he
began to help needy children throughout the country.
A long while back I met Jim at a direct marketing conference. He is mild
mannered. Quite. Soft spoken. Loyal. Strongly dedicated to his personal
and family beliefs.
Several times I've had the opportunity to spend time with Jim, doing
direct mail and customer service seminars for the Mexican marketplace.
With him as the sponsor. Each event has truly been special.
It was during these more formal business occasions I learned about his
Foundation. Here is the story.
Jim has a marketing background. Working with international ad agencies
and major corporations. Over the years he also helped set up fund-raising
programs for various organizations and associations. What Jim saw was
a true need. For most it was a hand to mouth existence. Whatever money
was raised was spent almost immediately. The needs were great - the funds
At the beginning of the decade of the '90s Jim started to test a program
to collect donations to help promote the education of under privileged
Mexican children. The idea was, and is, to work through organizations
such as orphanages (Jim was an orphan - remembers the experience well),
providing them educational materials and equipment, rather than cash.
Offering tools that can be put to work today. And saving the money for
Companies such as Gerber, Levi, Fernandaz Editores, Readers Digest, Time-Life
and many others donate products which the Foundation distributes. While
the Foundation is dedicated to education, they gladly accept any gift
and distribute it among the organizations they are working with. Over
this past decade they have given assistance that totals in the hundreds
of thousands of dollars in value.
Direct Mail has played
a major role in the success Jim has enjoyed with his Foundation. There
are fairly decent mailing lists for companies and up-scale home owners
in Mexico. The response from mailings to these lists has been excellent.
As everyone sees the advantage of an educated marketplace.
There are now several thousand active donors. The first time gift exceeds
US$70. A response of over 20% on the first request for a renewal donation
is not usual - and is financially successful.
One of the reasons the corporate Mexican community is so willing to support
the Foundation is because of the "special events" hosted each year. In
the fall a "day" is held for the kids of the orphanages. And other under-privileged
Jim, through the Foundation, arranges it all. Everything for this day
is paid for by the Foundation ... of course with countless donations from
business and hundreds of donated hours from volunteers.
The purpose of the day is not to raise money. It is to promote education.
And the value a good education gives to the children, families, business
- the country.
Any child from any organization supporting the less than privileged is
invited. No limits on how many, age, sex, background. What the kids do
for the day is participate in a number of different "games":
Academic contests of . . .
- Art and manual art contests
- Several different athletic events
The winners and runners-up in each category receive prizes ranging from
bicycles to sportswear and sports equipment, to school materials and books.
Every child who participates receives a ticket to the Mexican Fiesta,
where they redeem tickets for small gifts and prizes.
Even with all the obvious good, money is not easy to come by in Mexico.
There is not an excess - even for education. Although the Foundation is
growing, there are never enough corporate sponsors. And because individual
lists are still difficult to locate, the base has not been growing as
fast as the requests for service have been received.
On top of that it
is almost impossible to get the Mexican Banks to loan to the Foundation.
They all want collateral. Which, of course, the Foundation has none. Except
for a few office supplies and equipment. All of which is funded by Jim
Taylor and his Direct Marketing agency.
An effort I worked on with Jim in the States, I am sad to say, failed.
My friend Charlie Hawkins from Sedona, Arizona pulled together a handful
of "thinkers". Nancy, my partner in life as well as business, Jim, Charlie
and these folks spent a day dreaming up ways to raise money for the Foundation.
On although the list of ideas was long, putting it into practice in the
USA proved less than wonderful.
Still, all is not dark. The Mexican Post Office acknowledged the Foundation
as the first non-profit organization in Mexico allowed to use the special
commercial advertising rate - the lowest available rate for mailing promotional
materials within the country.
This chart outlines just a little bit of the success Jim Taylor has had
with 3 of his mailings on behalf of the Foundation:
Cost per mailing
$ Received as % of cost
$ & in-kind contributions as % of cost
If you are interested in supporting education in Mexico, send your letter
and a gift to:
James H. Taylor, Director
Fundacion Casa De Santa Hipolita AC
Fuente de Santa Hipolita #40
Fuente de Satalite, Altzapan
Edo de Mexico 52996 - MEXICO
It was nearly a decade ago I first wrote about the Foundation. So this
is an on-going story. With direct mail as the base - and the children
of Mexico as the benefactors.
Congratulations to Jim Taylor.