We designed a Tribute Sponsorship Program and launched it in January, 2011. The focus was corporate support for local fallen heroes. Basically we divided the projected cost of the memorial by the number of fallen heroes and assigned that dollar figure to a personal tribute destined for display on the memorial. That rounded figure was $3,500.
I spent three months earlier this year contacting major corporations. None of them would sponsor a single tribute to honor a local fallen soldier. Several responded with, “It just doesn’t fit with our marketing campaigns.” Every corporation I contacted was flush with cash.
A representative from the Wal-Mart Foundation told me they were not interested in sponsoring a tribute for the fallen soldier from Fayetteville, AK., hometown to their headquarters. The corporation had $7.4 billion in cash on hand at the time.
A vice president at a local corporate headquarters (Raleigh, NC) told me they simply did not have enough money to sponsor a $3,500 tribute. They had $647 million in cash on hand. I got similar responses from many representatives. A substantial number would not respond to our messages or phone calls. It appears that they decided to use the ‘plausible deniability’ option.
We decided to abandon the program. I am now making an assumption, but I believe the failure to attract corporate support may have something to do with our status as an unknown entity. Maybe they simply will not risk supporting an organization they never heard of. We’ll never know because representatives either would not respond or would not respond honestly. I wonder if the representatives would have responded differently to a Colin Powell? With no support from the media, we have a very tough road.