Firsthand Tales of Creativity and Success: The PCAND Magnet
Jane Nelson-Halverson, owner of Dakota Promotions & Printing, shared a favorite promotion she did for Prevent Child Abuse North Dakota. Through creative use of found artwork and effective networking within her community, she was able to complete a great fundraising promotion for an important cause.
NonProfit PRO: Could you briefly describe a promotion that you consider one of your best?
Jane Nelson-Halverson: My favorite promotion was for a nonprofit organization, Prevent Child Abuse North Dakota (pcand.org). They look for promotional products to send to agencies across the state every year, and one of them was a simple refrigerator magnet. They knew they wanted a magnet, but with that much imprint area and the possibility of a full-color graphic, we had more to work with than they had had in the past. While I was in their office, I noticed artwork on their walls that looked like children's drawings and asked about them. I also asked the possibility of using one of them as the background for the magnet. Their director loved the idea, and I set it up. Even more rewarding for me was seeing the magnet at another nonprofit that I volunteer for — the Abused Adult Resource Center's Transition Center. I was there cleaning for the United Way's Day of Caring and saw the magnet on the refrigerator. I wanted to scream, "Hey, I did this!" but I didn't. I just smiled to myself and kept scrubbing the refrigerator.
NPPRO: What items did you use for the promotion, and why?
JNH: I needed to take the drawing from their wall. They had it framed, and it was quite large. I scanned the drawing and shrunk it down to fit properly on the magnet and reframed the drawing and returned it to my client. It was a little extra legwork for a small item, but the result was so worth it!
NPPRO: What was the promotion's goal, and what did you do to make that goal happen?
JNH: April is Prevent Child Abuse Month. Their goal was to have a variety of items available for their clients to purchase before April, the magnet being one of the items.
NPPRO: What was the best decision you made with the promotion?
JNH: Using the drawing was the best decision. It really brings attention to the magnet, which is important to bring attention to PCAND and its cause.
NPPRO: Did you run into any problems or hurdles with the promotion? If so, what were they, and how did you overcome them?
JNH: I did not have a scanner large enough to handle the drawing so I took it to a business associate that I knew had a large scanner. I keep local connections by being a part of the local Bismarck-Mandan Chamber of Commerce, Bismarck-Mandan Business & Professional Women's Club, Greater North Dakota Chamber, and my business is a certified North Dakota Woman-owned Business as well as the volunteer work I do.
NPPRO: Do you have any other advice you'd like to give to distributors running a similar promotion? If so, what would it be, and why?
JNH: Visit your client's location if you can. Look for ideas on their turf. Orders on the Internet or in an email are great, but if you don't know the customer, the one losing out is the customer. If they are not happy with a promotion, they will find someone else to provide the next one.