Premiums and Paid Products Spotlight: Fundraising Premiums: What's Working and Why
Easter Seals of Southern Georgia has been producing an annual Christmas ornament for 20 years and sees about a $7.50 profit on each one. The organization has become adept not only at marketing its ornaments for optimum donor engagement, but also in choosing designs supporters want to buy.
The organization offers an array of services to people in more than 60 counties, and each year’s ornament design is chosen to reflect something that resonates with local residents. One year it was the home of a local veteran whose annual Christmas light displays had become a nostalgic part of the town’s celebration; another it was a diner where residents, their parents and their parents’ parents had their first dates; another was an image representing the charm of historic Georgia boulevards.
“We always try to choose something that is nostalgic to the area,” says Rosalyn Kirk, development coordinator at Easter Seals of Southern Georgia. “And something that, when it is hanging on their tree, reminds them that they have helped their community and helped us continue to provide services right in their own community.”
Kirk says a committee of select members chooses the design (often taking into consideration suggestions from the community) each year, then sends its ideas to its partner ChemArt, which turns the concept into reality.
Allison Houle, marketing manager at ChemArt, explains that organizations are best served by choosing their perfect designs first, then allowing their vendor partners to turn those into reality.
“Look at it as a fundraiser first and not as an ornament. Focus on designing something that will generate a lot of interest from your audience. That’s what makes Easter Seals so successful; they come up with an idea that will touch the people they are hoping will buy it,” she says. “To try to think of it off the bat as an ornament can be limiting. If someone comes to us with a concept, we can then go back and tell them how best to design it.”