2014 Gold Awards for Fundraising Excellence Special Events Winners
Special Events (less than $10 million)
Jewish Federation of Delaware
(Submitted by Jewish Federation of Delaware)
Attendees: More than 150
Corporate sponsorships: $5,000
Ticket sales: More than $5,000
Pre-concert VIP reception: $348,100 (in the form of donations to the organization’s Federated Annual Campaign)
Our judges were impressed with this unique take on a special event by the Jewish Federation of Delaware. MOSHAV is an Israeli-American Jewish rock band from MOSHAV Mevo Modi’im. JFD tapped the band to play a concert at a Wilmington venue, with proceeds going toward the organization.
Part of JFD’s vision is to “bring Jewish people together into a community coalition, grounded in Jewish teaching and heritage.” And as music is “one of the greatest connectors,” a concert was quite fitting, according to Seth Katzen, CEO of JFD.
“Music strengthens and creates connections between individuals. Leveraging the power of Jewish music and peer-to-peer networking was the strategy behind our MOSHAV concert concept,” he says.
Katzen provided a sample of a recruitment email that the organization used to invite locals to be on the concert committee. It was a unique approach: The only requirements for joining the committee were committing to attend the concert, letting the organization use your name for recruitment purposes, and inviting your friends to attend and also spread the word.
Tickets were $18 general admission or $50 for preferred seating with perks such as a pre-show open bar and a meet-and-greet with the band, etc. An interesting twist was that the preferred-seating option was available only to those donors who pledged to contribute $365 or more to JFD’s 2014 annual campaign.
The concert and the no-meeting committee membership, with its emphasis on peer-to-peer communication, helped the MOSHAV concert stand out and be a huge success for the organization.
Additional Special Events (less than $10 million) Winners
SILVER: Art Institute of Chicago — Cyber Monday 2013 Campaign (Submitted by The Lukens Co.)
Response rate: 6.16 percent
Total cost: $2,830
Income generated: $87,824
Average gift: $83.40
Cost to raise a dollar: $0.03
Just like retailers, the Art Institute of Chicago in 2013 wanted to take advantage of the buzz around Cyber Monday — the Monday after Thanksgiving when online shoppers take advantage of special deals. To that end, it utilized a lightbox on its Web page for a 24-hour campaign to generate revenue by offering a 20 percent discount on gift memberships. The lightbox captured only the name and email required to redeem the discount. Once those fields were completed, the full e-commerce page appeared so the transaction could be completed.
The lightbox generated more than 17,000 unique visitors in the 24-hour period it was active, an increase in Web traffic by 25 percent compared to other years. It generated 1,053 additional memberships for a gross revenue of $87,824.
BRONZE: MSPCA-Angell — 2013 Walk for Animals (Submitted by DaVinci Direct)
Recipients: Public campaign
Response rate: 10 percent increase in participation
Total cost: $16,833.38
Income generated: $260,000
The goal for this campaign was to create as much media and public awareness as possible for MSPCA-Angell’s annual walk. A direct-mail piece to past walk participants and recent pet adopters reached out to a segment familiar with the organization. A brochure included in a mailer, distributed as handouts and in displays among various partners and was used to reach out to prospects at events and social gatherings, and Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority posters were focused on awareness among the general public.
MSPCA-Angell and DaVinci made sure messaging stayed consistent through all elements of the campaign, and that collateral was displayed or distributed in specifically targeted areas. The DM budget was cut in half and the number of brochure reduced to fund the MBTA element of the campaign.
Overall, the campaign resulted in an 18 percent increase in walk attendance and donations from the previous year. The walk also generated more interest in the organization, which led to an increase in Web visits and requests for information.