And the 2012 Winners Are ...
The night before the judging began, FS Managing Editor and fellow judge Joe Boland and I ventured out on the town in Philadelphia. We ended up at the SugarHouse Casino. My experience there got me thinking about the task at hand for the next day in terms of entries. What did organizations do last year? Did they take risks and gamble? Or did they play it safe? My anticipation grew.
Joe and I played more than a few hands of blackjack, and we rolled the dice a few times, but mostly we played by the book. And that's exactly what we saw the next day. Overall, we saw some very strong, but very traditional, campaigns — very few major risks or outside-the-box approaches. Was this a wise choice? It seems like it was, as most of the results we reviewed were incredibly strong. Joe and I lost a little money at SugarHouse. It seems like the organizations we judged did not gamble with their donors' money, but made smart decisions to maximize returns and persuade hearts and minds. In the end, Joe and I wished we would have played it a little safer and just donated that money to some of these worthy causes.
I would like to thank my fellow judges Joe, Pamela Grow and Paul Bobnak. I also would like to thank our fearless leader, Margaret Battistelli Gardner, editor-in-chief of FS. But mostly I want to thank each of you — you are all winners in my book. There were only two awards in each category, plus a few honorable mentions. And in a year with more submissions then ever before, our job was incredibly difficult. So whether or not your organization is mentioned in this issue, remember you are making a difference. Congratulations to our winners, and thank you — everyone!
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.