2008 Gold Awards for Fundraising Excellence: And the Winners Are …
Judging for the Gold Awards was a little more low-key this year, it seems. (We think it might be because the ASPCA’s Steve Froehlich couldn’t make it. But please … don’t tell him we said so.)
Also, there was no hotly contested tie for Package of the Year that had us seeking tiebreaker after tiebreaker like last year.
But the competition was just as fierce. Once again, our judges hunkered down in the conference room at our office here in Philadelphia and pored over 35 entries (vetted down from nearly 80) in seven categories: Direct-Mail Acquisition (50,000 or more mailed, and fewer than 50,000 mailed); Direct-Mail Renewal (50,000 or more mailed, and fewer than 50,000 mailed); Direct-Mail Special Appeal; E-philanthropy (for campaigns centered around e-mail and Web, with no direct-mail components); and Multichannel (for campaigns that combine any number of strategies, including direct mail).
Each judge graded each entry on a scale of 1 to 5 in each of four criteria: results, revenue, copy and creative. Winning submissions were those with the highest number of total points, and Package of the Year was the direct-mail package with the highest overall points. Grand Control of the Year was chosen from North American Publishing Co.’s Who’s Mailing What! Archive by Paul Bobnak, one of our judges and the WMW! director.
We’d like to thank Paul and the rest of the judges — Gold Awards vet Tim O’Leary, vice president of McPherson Associates; Margaret Guellich, director of major gifts and planned giving at the Roman Catholic Diocese of Metuchen (New Jersey); and, of course, Abny Santicola, Target Marketing Group managing editor and former senior editor at FundRaising Success — for their help.
One disappointment this year, however: We originally had announced a new category — Fearless Fundraising — for innovative campaigns that employ elements of mobile, guerilla, social-networking or other cutting-edge strategies. We got only one submission for that one, which was ineligible because it was more or less a business initiative rather than fundraising. So, you tell us, are we off in thinking that Fearless Fundraising was something to be reckoned with in 2007? Should we include it again in next year’s competition? Let us know! As always, we’d love to hear from you!
Related story: FS Gold Awards: Complete List of Winners