Fundraising Forum: DRTV
Kevin: National airings for cable or owned-and-operated affiliates can require a significant investment, while smaller, single-market buys can run as low as $100 or so.
Erika: Let’s not forget call-center costs!
Kevin: To Erika’s point, the challenge with DRTV is that it’s all about response, rather than sheer branding/awareness most of the time.
Margaret: Can you define long-form vs. short-form? Aside from costs, of course, are certain missions more successful with one form over the other?
Erika: Long-form is anything longer than five minutes; short-form is anything five minutes or less.
Kevin: Long-form is typically hour or half-hour programs. Occasionally, other lengths can arise but are usually on such a limited basis that the investment in creative must be considered. Most short-form purchased tends to be 120 or 60 seconds, again depending upon what individual stations/networks are willing to sell.
Mary: Maybe define long and short as with long-form the nonprofit is buying a program period. With short-form, it’s buying commercial break time. Child sponsorship, which is well-established as a monthly giving program, has been historically successful in DRTV — both long- and short-forms.
Kevin: Mary brings up an excellent point — a major consideration in DRTV is creating the correct ask or offer. Does the organization have something that people will respond to on TV? Strong monthly giving programs tend to work best on TV because they create a sustainable revenue stream that leads to an acceptable long-term value of sponsors/donors.
Margaret: Mary, I don’t know anyone my age — I’ll let you guess — who didn’t grow up seeing Archie Bunker’s daughter on TV talking about child sponsorship. Is it the inherently powerful images that are associated with helping impoverished children that make it a good fit for DRTV?
Mary: I heard that “Saturday Night Live” had another skit on it last Saturday — Sally [Struthers] was spokesperson for at least a couple of child sponsorship orgs.