Fundraisers radically modify the value proposition with prospects and donors when they offer incentives for giving. Albeit engaging, some experts consider the technique to be short sighted, for renewing premium-acquired donors can be arduous and cost prohibitive.
Most of the time, almost no one will respond to your appeals by mail. The only reason direct-mail fundraising works is that someone who does send you a first gift is very likely to send another when asked, writes Mal Warwick, author and founder of the Berkeley, Calif.-based, full-service fundraising company Mal Warwick & Associates.
One of the truly inspiring stories of the past century is that of a Lebanese boy named Muzyad Yahkoob. Born in 1914 in Detroit, he grew up to become legendary comedian and television star Danny Thomas, as well as the founder of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn.
Two months from now, President George W. Bush and Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry will wage their final battle for the White House, capping off an emotionally charged, hard-driving election campaign that has seized American consciousness like no other.
To illustrate, consider that when George H.W. Bush ran for re-election against Bill Clinton in 1992, he didn’t mention him by name until July. And in 1996, Clinton didn’t mention Bob Dole by name until August. This time around, the candidates traded barbs as early as Super Tuesday in March.
Here’s a shocker: Fundraising is tough. Joan Specter, who’s part of the development team at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, spent quite a bit of time driving that point home to me during a conversation I had with her recently.
She was talking about her work with the center, where she focuses on securing major gifts, and explaining how much patience, tact and tenacity it takes to get someone to part with, oh, say, a million bucks.
“You need a streak of outrage. You need a sense of injustice. Without outrage, I don’t know how the hell you can do this work.” — Roger Craver, of Craver, Mathews, Smith & Co.to Denny Hatch, 1993 Since its founding in 1961, Amnesty International has saved more than 50,000 lives — potential victims of murder, torture and execution by some of the nastiest regimes on earth. Considering what’s happening in the Middle East, Africa and even here in the United States, this organization’s work will never be done. If I had to pick one organization for which Roger Craver’s words are apropos, it
Every fundraising campaign has its challenges. And time usually is of the essence. But some campaigns have time restraints that are more compelling than others.
Such was the case when the American Battle Monuments Commission needed to raise funds to build the National World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C.
Not so long ago, direct mail personalization meant slapping a donor’s name and address on a form letter and calling it a day. It was a statement: The more personal information an organization presented in a solicitation to Mr. Sample, the greater his significance. How times have changed — sort of.
It’s a frustrating nuisance — that pesky reply device. The sorry, little stepchild of the fundraising package. Underutilized. Misunderstood. Occasionally ignored. Treated with faint disdain.
Tradition has it that the reply form was invented around 1924 and evolved via two genetic streams. For commercial mail, it became a dynamic ingredient of the mail package.