SERVICES / case study

Leader Dogs for the Blind seeks breeding stock host volunteers

Leader Dogs for the Blind is a nonprofit whose mission is to empower people who are blind, visually impaired or Deaf-Blind with skills for a lifetime of independent travel, opening doors that may seem to have closed with the loss of sight. In order to help raise future Leader Dogs, Leader Dog engaged MCCI to increase the number of volunteer breeding stock hosts, who specifically assist with breeding as well as whelping and raising the puppies for the first six weeks of life. However, any volunteers had to fit a certain criteria: Live within four to eight hours of the Rochester Hills, Michigan campus (four for “Dads” and eight for “Moms”), and have a male or female breeding stock Leader Dog live with them – giving Leader Dog and MCCI a very narrow target audience to pursue.

We were challenged to…

  • Increase awareness of the responsibilities of being a breeding stock host by featuring local volunteers
  • Increase the number of volunteer applicants for the breeding stock host program
  • Increase overall awareness of the care Leader Dog and its volunteers exhibit for all Leader Dogs, breeding stock and Leader Dogs in training

Our team collaboratively…

  • Identified media markets in the required travel radius of Leader Dog’s Rochester Hills, Michigan campus
  • Worked with Leader Dog’s canine development staff to get timely information regarding new puppy litters at existing breeding stock host volunteer homes
  • Crafted a media-facing pitch, explaining the local relevancy/need for breeding stock volunteers as well as the overall Leader Dog mission; offering up the opportunity to meet the latest puppy litter and respective breeding stock host
  • Coordinated broadcast and print media interviews in the homes of breeding stock hosts as well as in-studio interviews
  • Prepared breeding stock hosts for media interviews/visits with messaging and counsel to ensure proper positioning of Leader Dog and its breeding stock program in the media

Leader Dogs for the Blind experienced direct results.

  • Between July 2013 and June 2015, Leader Dog received 72 applications from potential breeding stock hosts, helping ensure Leader Dog’s specially selected breeding stock were housed with families, where they are happiest.