Premiums and Paid Products Spotlight: Fundraising Premiums: What's Working and Why
Over the years, some have been real standouts, like the Christmas stocking personalized with a giant “S,” a personalized weekly planner that looked like a little black book and a beaded bracelet with a metal lobster clasp. From another organization, I received a CD of drum songs performed by children and, later, a handy lens cleaner tissue pack.
One of the biggest challenges with premium programs is the never-ending quest for the new-new thing to replace an offer that inevitably loses its luster over time. Think about it: How many personalized Christmas stockings can one donor possibly need or want? Also factor in how many other organizations catch on and start using your fabulous premium, too, and you’ve raised the bar even higher.
But never lose your sense of humor. As it turns out, a repeatedly mailed premium that does not expire like a calendar does, and one that is not personalized, might be fated to be sold on eBay. A talented young fundraiser I once worked with was addicted to eBay, and she frequently found our client’s lapel pins, plush toys and whatnots up for auction, with one item even being hawked as “in the original packaging!”
The round-trip premium
So, besides cruising the local dollar store and scouring trinket and tchotchke catalogs, what can a fundraiser do for new premium ideas with potentially greater life spans? Consider the round-trip premium: a gift that’s not for donors to keep.
Because I’ve received them more than once as a donor, AdoptaPlatoon’s full-sized toothbrush and an American flag on a stick must be successful premium appeals. However, unlike gifts meant for the donor to keep, these two premiums were to be returned with the donor’s signature and contribution, with the promise that they would be placed in a soldier’s care package.