EDMONDS, Washington — Campbell Nelson, which owns both Nissan and Volkswagen dealerships, followed its "community driven" motto with its Big Vehicle Giveaway, an online contest that gave away new-car leases to three nonprofit organizations over three months.
The dealership chose seven charities and invited the community to visit the Campbell Nelson Web site to learn about the organizations and vote for them. Based on the total number of votes at the end of each month, the charity with the most won a two-year lease on a Nissan or Volkswagen of their mutually agreed upon choice.
"What made this contest different is that the charities did all the legwork telling others about our dealership and getting people to go to our Web site and get votes for them," said Kurt Campbell, who co-owns the company with brother Craig.
Mary's Place, a homeless shelter for women and children, was the first month's winner, choosing a 2014 NV2500 Cargo Van. Youth for Christ, a ministry, picked an NV 12 passenger van. The final winner, Hand in Hand, which is a haven for those newly removed from their homes while searching for foster care, chose a 2014 Nissan Quest.
Campbell Nelson gets further mileage out of the contest by wrapping the winner's van with the nonprofit's logo, as well as the dealership's logo.
"By wrapping it, we get a little advertising out of the contest," said Campbell.
The remaining four charities walked away with money in their pockets for their participation.
"We had $5,000 that we divvied up between them," Campbell said.
Edmunds says: Caring and giving is one way for a dealership to stand out in the community.