And the 2012 Winners Are ...
This year marked my fifth year as a judge for the FundRaising Success Gold Awards. As the day approached, I was just as excited to review the submissions as I was my very first time. I'm not sure what it is about direct mail — the compelling copy, the creative inserts, the personalized reply vehicles — but the truth is I love it. It is both an art and a science. How do you get someone you have never met to respond to you in just a few ounces?
It is also fascinating to me how the direct-response industry has transformed itself over the last decade, testing and investing in new strategies and capitalizing on technology. Our industry continues to evolve and adapt itself.
And so have the Gold Awards. Today we honor not just the tried-and-true direct-mail and telemarketing campaigns, but also full-fledged multichannel campaigns, online fundraising, special events and those organizations that are truly thinking outside the box. This year tried to level the field a bit more, so we attempted to split the submissions into two subcategories — annual operating budget of $7.5 million or less and more than $7.5 million. [Editor's Note: In the interest of full disclosure — there seemed to be some confusion about what exactly "annual operating budget" means. So, rather than have winners in each of the annual operating budget-based subcategories in each category, we went with two gold and two silver winners in each category. Most are based on the under/over criterion but not all. We thought this was the best way to handle the confusion this year, and we'll be sure to be more clear next year. — MB]
It was very interesting to see that smaller budgets don't necessarily equal less creativity. In fact, the larger nonprofit organizations can learn just as much from the smaller organizations as the smaller organizations can from the larger ones.
Pamela Grow is the publisher of The Grow Report, the author of Simple Development Systems and the founder of Simple Development Systems: The Membership Program and Basics & More fundraising fundamentals e-courses. She has been helping small nonprofits raise dramatically more money for over 15 years, and was named one of the 50 Most Influential Fundraisers by Civil Society magazine, and one of the 40 Most Effective Fundraising Consultants by The Michael Chatman Giving Show.