Cover Story: Teach a Man to Fish ...
“Regional events can take on any kind of look,” Woodworth says. “We want them to be as varied as possible to attract different kinds of donors.”
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Both Jared and Woodworth are quick to point out that the new emphasis on major gifts will in no way take away from the importance of the direct marketing program. The well-designed direct mail, the stylish yet charming catalog and matching Web site are, after all, the open end of the funnel and have been transmitting Heifer’s simple, consistent message to the public for 60 years.
“The majority of major-gifts donors come up through direct mail,” Woodworth says. “It’s amazing the number of people who respond to that message.
“We’re so lucky,” she adds, “and yet it’s not just luck. We have a team of folks in the marketing department making sure we’re telling the accurate message of Heifer. That message resonates. Heifer is a simple organization with a very simple idea that hasn’t changed for 60 years.”
And Jared concurs, explaining that when the Heifer catalog was introduced 10 years ago, it brought in a million dollars. Last year, that total was $10 million. The Web site came into the mix about four years ago, and Heifer recently was named the No. 1 fundraiser for Web activity by the Association of Fundraising Professionals.
“Direct mail and the Web site are clearly where we shine,” Jared says. “We have a grassroots effort that has built our 60 years of success. Our community relations team and regional offices around the country work with volunteers to get our message out to churches, schools, civic clubs.
“These groups are so inspired and touched by the simplicity of the message that they are willing to take that message to other people in their community,” she adds.