Fundraising Forum: DRTV
Editor’s Note: Direct-response television isn’t for every nonprofit organization, but with the proper planning and execution, it can be a solid source of income. Here, three professionals talk about their experiences with both long- and short-form DRTV.
Mary Arnold, director of marketing, Christian Children’s Fund
Kevin White, vice president of broadcast media, Russ Reid
Erika Kloehn, senior director of acquisition and fundraising programs, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
Melissa Busch, associate senior editor, FundRaising Success
Margaret Battistelli, editor-in-chief, FundRaising Success
Margaret: Welcome, everyone, to our DRTV e-chat. Can we start with your thoughts on where DRTV stands in the fundraiser’s toolkit?
Mary: Because of the cost of DRTV, it is mostly used by larger nonprofits.
Erika: We utilize DRTV primarily for obtaining monthly donors and use both long- and short-form creative. There really are only a few other players.
Kevin: My opinion is DRTV has been a venue for larger, more established organizations, due to the costs associated with it, including developing creative, buying media and managing phone centers. We’ve seen smaller organizations that would love to enter the DRTV arena who don’t yet have the financial backing to do so.
Margaret: What are the different costs that need to be considered?
Kevin: Creative can range from tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars, depending upon whether it’s short-form, long-form, travel required, hosts utilized, etc. Media has a much wider variance, depending upon the given budget of a client and the type of media they prefer.
Erika: Also, while you can get media time for a relatively low price (depending on the market), you do need to be able to commit to a regular schedule in order to have a bank of information to help you make future media buying decisions.
Mary: In short-form (60 and 120 seconds), you can gain production efficiencies with producing multiple spots at one time. Media cost is where the big investment is.