Founder of Russ Reid Dies
Innovations didn't end there. In the mid-1980s, the Los Angeles Mission was a small homeless shelter in a run-down building on Los Angeles' Skid Row. The building was old, inadequate and unsafe. It needed to be retrofitted to protect it and the people it housed from earthquake damage — and the money just wasn't available. For the first time a newspaper advertisement was placed in the Los Angeles Times asking for donations for the Mission.
People responded and donated money to the Mission to help feed, clothe and house the homeless. A larger ad resulted in more new donors, and a direct-response fundraising program was born.
Over the next months and years, donors who responded to the initial advertisements were regularly contacted by mail to tell them how their support was helping serve those who come to the Mission for help getting off drugs, alcohol and the streets. These letters resulted in more donations allowing the program to expand, build a new facility and help even more people.
The program became the model to help hundreds of rescue missions and food banks across the U.S. and Canada.
"Russ Reid's innovations have changed the way nonprofits raise money on TV, in the mail and online," said Harrison.
Reid led the agency through a major transition in 1998 when it was sold to Omnicom, one of the largest marketing corporations in the world. Reid retired from the daily operation of the company in 2001, but maintained an interest in what new innovations occurred in operations — and new strategies to help nonprofits "grow beyond expectations." He also kept close personal relationships with company leaders.
Survivors include his wife, Cathie; his children Mark Reid, Paul Reid, Anne Oppermann and Janice Reid; and eight grandchildren.