“For me, there’s no question that the GP brand allows us to take risks in fundraising, stand up for principles, do the right thing by donors. I think we’re aspiring to really deliver ‘relationship fundraising,’ not just give it lip service while maintaining effectively a technique-heavy mail operation,” Sherrington says.
Part of “relationship fundraising” involves showing donors that it takes its mission seriously, and the best place to start is at home. Everything in Greenpeace USA’s Washington, D.C. headquarters — from the carpet and countertops made from recycled products, to the energy that powers it — is environmentally friendly. All the elements in its direct-mail appeal mailings display the recycle logo and copy reading, “Printed on recycled paper with no chlorine bleaching used in the recycling process.”
And the organization puts its foot down when it comes to using premiums in its direct mail, too.
“The environmental sector … is known for its premiums: stuffed toys, tote bags, umbrellas. How on earth is dumping that sort of stuff [in mail] consistent with a message about conservation of resources? So we don’t do it,” Sherrington says.
It’s all part of Greenpeace’s goal to connect with people over the values, principles and passion that it represents, and to convey hope through its victories.
“There’s a lot of feeling of ‘What hope is there?’ in terms of corporations and government changing,” Sherrington says, adding that Greenpeace’s No. 1 task is showing people that change is possible and they have
the power to make a difference.