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Center for Action and Contemplation

Transformation Over Transaction

November 10th, 2022
Transformation Over Transaction

Transformation Over Transaction has been the grounding philosophy of CAC’s Engagement Team since 2017. As marketing and communications professionals, we hold a complex and, at times, controversial post. We all know the digital world casts a large shadow, which is why our engagement campaigns prioritize audience experience over transactional metrics like clicks, leads, and sales.  

We hope that simply by interacting with a post, email, or advertisement, someone can have a transformative experience. They don’t have to click a link or buy a book to rest in a moment of hope and healing. For those who want to go further, we make the option as easy, accessible, and readily available as possible. 

We offer different ways for audiences to embark on their own spiritual adventures, and we walk that path alongside them. We align our engagement strategies to CAC’s four pillars of organizational strategy so that we stay rooted in our mission to support transformation and inspire loving action. 

Pillar 1: Meet Audiences Where They Are 

This book is revolutionary! It has helped me unpack all my frustrations, fears, and disappointments and filled me with hope. —Cindy B., CAC social media follower 

Questioning has long been stigmatized by many religious communities. While promoting Brian McLaren’s newest book, Do I Stay Christian? we designed campaigns to help audiences see that questioning is not shameful. To meet audiences where they are and show them they are not alone, we launched a Facebook group where readers can connect and share in a community read-along.  

Pillar 2: Invite Audiences to Experience Our Traditions 

This is such a timely study for me as both an individual and as part of a greater community. Thank you. —Jennifer M., CAC social media follower 

#WisdomOfSophia, a monthly social media campaign, spotlights women mystical teachers from various faith backgrounds. Audiences experience the depths of our traditions by exploring the power of the divine feminine to transform our lives. Mainstream religion often turns its back on spiritual wisdom from women. Yet, by sharing teachings from these past and present mystics, we can broaden our experience of Spirit, drawing us closer to oneness. 

Pillar 3: Encourage Audiences into an Embodied and Engaged Practice 

The more I learn about the Franciscan Way, the more I feel held and reassured, but also frustrated that the world still latches on to a violent notion of God. —Aline L., CAC social media follower 

Our multi-channel engagement campaigns for online education invite audiences into embodied online practices based on the primary teachings of each course. We make it simple to sign up for an online course that can help further spiritual growth and inner work if that experience is moving and the timing is right.  

Pillar 4: Connect Audiences to an Expanding Movement 

When I am willing to let go of my opinions, my needs, and my judgments, and simply see the person, I can love more fully. —Annamarie F., CAC social media follower 

We Conspire is a new monthly email and web article series featuring stories from the emerging Christian contemplative movement. With guest contributions from partners such as Spiritual Directors International and the Poor People’s Campaign, We Conspire gives audiences opportunities to learn about other people and organizations in this movement and discover their place among them. 

Transformation Over Transaction can be a very difficult balance to strike, but it is a challenge that absolutely invigorates us. CAC’s Core Principle “The best criticism of the bad is the practice of the better” is our anchor in a consumption-based, always-on digital world. We think and rethink (and sometimes overthink) ways to encourage our audiences—and ourselves—to be fully engaged on the path of transformation.  

Sara Palmer is the marketing manager at CAC, where she has worked since 2017. She has worked in non-profit marketing and communications for more than fifteen years on causes such as animal welfare, justice action, spiritual well-being, and education. Sara lives in Memphis, Tennessee with her husband, daughter, an exceptionally perfect dog, and two deeply unsatisfied cats.  

This reflection appears in the Fall 2022 issue of the Mendicant, our quarterly donor newsletter.

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