Nonprofits Tighten the Belt on Premiums
The donor card from the Marijuana Policy Project Foundation — a U.S. nonprofit organization dedicated to ending the government’s war on marijuana users — appears ordinary and premiumless, until the prospect flips it over. There, many potential premiums await, depending on the gift level. Its newsletter can be had for $25 or more, and a choice of one of six premiums (including four T-shirts with messages from the MPP and two MPP booklets) is given for $40 or more. If a donor gives $250 or more, she will receive a compilation DVD featuring media coverage from MPP’s campaign last year.
On the far other side of the political landscape, or universe, is an effort from the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library Foundation, which also has many premiums in mind for the prospect. Those premiums are hinted at on the No. 14 outer envelope, with the words, “Now you can share President Reagan’s dream of bringing the Air Force One experience to the American people. Please respond in the next 7 days for your souvenir.”
On a foldout contribution reply card, several premium options are given, including a $40 donation that garners an Air Force One baseball cap, $75 for two caps, $105 for a book about Air Force One plus the two caps, and $2,740 for all the above plus a “private, escorted tour” of The Reagan Museum and — hold your breath — a professional photograph of the donor boarding Air Force One.
For some prospects, of course, a mere calendar or tote bag is enough to encourage donations. Such is the case with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, which offers a calendar premium for a gift of at least $10 — a popular tactic used by the nonprofit since 1998. The public TV channel Thirteen WNET New York has been handing out tote bags to donors for years, but now, next to the tote bag checkbox is another checkbox for those who would rather their “entire contribution [go towards] programming.” Earthjustice follows the same tact, providing an adjacent checkbox for donors who want “100%” of their gift to go “toward the work of Earthjustice.”