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Strategic Spirit — The National Christmas Tree Association

AMR Management Services

Several years ago, with consumer research showing a decline in traditional Christmas celebration, AMR Management Services client, the National Christmas Tree Association (NCTA), approached us to see what could be done to increase awareness and improve the image of real Christmas trees as part of the Christmas tradition. The client team saw an opportunity to capitalize on the growing trend of cause-inspired marketing and developed a strategic plan to establish a charitable branch of NCTA.

After conducting a Harris Poll of charitable consumers on potential names for the organization, the Christmas SPIRIT Foundation (CSF) was born. We partnered with a law firm — also an AMC Institute member — to obtain 501(c)(3) charitable foundation status from the IRS, in less than 30 days.

The first program CSF launched was Trees for Troops, a cause marketing campaign that delivers real Christmas trees to U.S. military families. With key support from FedEx, CSF has delivered more than 100,000 real Christmas trees to military families and personnel at home and abroad since 2006.

Moreover, NCTA member participation in the Trees for Troops campaign, through donations of trees, volunteers and fundraising, is greater than 80 percent. In addition, Tree for Troops has generated significant media attention for real Christmas trees and Christmas traditions with stories in local and national media including USA Today, CNN and Fox News.

AMR Management Services acquired Drake & Company in July 2011 and continues to support the Christmas Spirit Foundation and work in partnership with FedEx to execute the Trees for Troops program.


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