Carl Bloom Associates Partners With Mary Ann Donahue, Public Broadcasting's Top On-Air Fundraising Producer
White Plains, New York, May 14, 2009 — Veteran fundraising agency Carl Bloom Associates (CBA) is adding pledge drive and telethon consulting to the expanding catalog of services it offers its partner/clients with the addition of long-time public television pledge drive producer Mary Ann Donahue as its newest professional associate. Effective immediately, Donahue will work alongside CBA and its clients in public broadcasting and at other not-for-profits to professionalize and optimize their on-air fundraising drives.
Ms. Donahue is widely recognized as one of the leaders in pledge drive production in the public broadcasting system. She is best known for her 20 years of service to Thirteen/WNET New York, America’s most-watched public broadcasting station, as Director of On-Air Production, where she was a multiple “On-Air Achievement” Development Award winner. Mary Ann is also a four-time Emmy Award-winning producer and writer whose experience covers all aspects of entertainment media from Broadway to daytime television and feature films. Her responsibilities at Thirteen included the scheduling of pledge drives, writing and editing of pledge break scripts, casting and directing pledge ‘talent’ and projecting on-air revenue. It is exactly these services that Donahue will now offer to stations, as a CBA Associate.
Of noted significance is that for the first time, on-air, online, email and direct mail planning and execution will be under one agency’s roof. “The longer we live, the more important it becomes for stations to speak with a single voice and so few do it,” Donahue says. “Good direct mail language should be incorporated into pledge and emarketing copy and vice versa.”
CBA has, for over three decades, worked with dozens of public broadcasting stations, libraries, cultural and performing arts, advocacy and social service groups, planning their direct mail, telemarketing and in recent years, email and online fundraising campaigns. CBA’s public television, radio and public library co-ops combine big and small clients’ creative, print production and list plans in order to achieve efficiencies and savings not available to individual local groups, stations and chapters of national organizations.
Public broadcasting direct mail, email and online campaigns are already timed around on-air pledge drives and have been for years, Luke Vander Linden, Vice President of Integrated Marketing Services, explains: “We’ve long known that fundraising using more than one channel at the same time – in any combination of mail, email, online or on-air – reinforces the message. Donors who catch a pledge break are reminded of the mail piece that’s been sitting on their desk, while a fundraising letter jogs their memory about that great program they saw last night and that thank you gift they wanted. CBA is ‘channel agnostic’ when it comes to how a gift is made, as long as a gift is made and the support is there.”
About adding pledge-drive consulting to CBA’s offerings, Vander Linden is enthusiastic about the potential of working with Ms. Donahue: “With Mary Ann as a partner, we now have the opportunity to coordinate the messages in a professional, deliberate and planned way.”
Donahue is also known around the system as one of the “Master Teachers” at PBS’ Pledge Academy, a 3-day educational service that teaches new station managers and fundraising staff members how to run their own pledge drives.
“In these difficult times, unfortunately non-profits have to make difficult decisions, even cutting staff,” notes CBA President Carl Bloom. “While it’s never pleasant, many organizations are using the opportunity to make their fundraising and marketing departments more productive and efficient rather than solely reducing staff.”
Bloom continues, “We are expanding our services in order to be extensions of membership and development departments to help stations and organizations that need it.”
In addition to working with public broadcasters, CBA hopes to bring Ms. Donahue’s expertise in telethon-style fundraising services to other non-profits as well.
For 32 years, Carl Bloom Associates has served a variety of nonprofits with strategic planning, creative development and full production services specializing in membership development and integrated fundraising. CBA offers web development, email and on-air marketing as well as incentive and recognition programs to build relationships with donors as part of our integrated approach to marketing and fundraising.