Since 2001, Healing Transitions has helped thousands of people find and stay in recovery. And the program works (85% of alumni stay in recovery). But in the throes of a national opioid crisis – and with Wake County’s population increasing 63% since 2001 – the demand for recovery services outpaced Healing Transitions’ facilities. The overcrowding became unsustainable and the on-demand service model was in jeopardy.



In late 2018, Healing Transitions launched an $11.75M capital campaign to expand its men’s and women’s campuses. Angel Oak Creative was hired to develop marketing and communications strategies for both the campaign’s quiet and community phases. In addition, an unanticipated global pandemic required Angel Oak Creative to pivot and adapt its strategies for a virtual groundbreaking.



Based on data pulled from a feasibility study, Angel Oak Creative began its work in 2018 targeting specific audiences: private and public sectors, major and community donors, corporations and foundations, the recovery and arts communities, the faith community and the media. When the time came, supporters from all walks of life answered the call for help. Marketing efforts included:

  • Developing a Healing Transitions awareness campaign to prime the community
  • Branding the capital campaign
  • Developing a detailed communications flow process for donor cultivation touch points
  • Designing campaign-specific collateral including a case for support and a direct appeal mailer
  • Developing digital toolkits
  • Co-producing a virtual groundbreaking and an in-person celebration event
  • Producing campaign-specific videos


Raising community awareness


New donor




Media/Public Relations
Increasing exposure and coverage to communicate its integral role in the community (generating awareness and support from both the public and private sectors).

Brand Identity
Creating a sobering message: addiction is the healthcare issue of our time and recovery cannot wait.

Using storytelling to acknowledge the widespread reaches of addiction and leveraging that reality to make addiction everyone’s issue.

Compelling Messaging
Developing case- for-support language to clarify both the need and solution while casting vision for a community where recovery flourishes for all.

Equipping community thought leaders, philanthropists and public figures to carry the message and champion the cause.



total donors

new donors

media stories

event attendance

public funding

Brand Development

After exploring several potential capital campaign brands, one rose to the top. Recovery Can’t Wait. This brand communicated the urgency of the need while pulling in the community through its visual identity.

Style Guide Recovery Can't Wait

Collateral Development

Once the brand was established, we designed campaign collateral (i.e. case for support, funding packets, direct mail appeal and stationary to name a few). Each elevated the brand with a compelling message that painted the need, the solution and a future where recovery could be accessible for all.

Recovery Can't Wait folder
Recovery Can't Wait Commitment Form
Recovery Can't Wait case statement

Direct Mail

Once the quiet phase of the capital campaign ended and it was time to launch the community phase, a direct mail appeal was distributed to Healing Transitions’ entire database (1100+). In addition, customized appeal letters were sent to prospects from campaign committee members.

recovery can't wait booklet pages 2-3
recovery can't wait booklet pages 4-5


Nothing resonates like visual storytelling. Videos included a campaign kickoff, donor testimonials, virtual groundbreaking, milestone shout outs and a campaign celebration to name a few.


A microsite was developed to house all capital campaign information. And digital media was maximized throughout the course of the campaign including email marketing efforts, social media and a digital toolkit for champion fundraising efforts.

virtual groundbreaking for healing transitions
virtual groundbreaking for healing transitions
virtual groundbreaking for healing transitions
virtual groundbreaking for healing transitions