FundRaising Success talked about the Obama campaign in its February issue, when it awarded the campaign a special award for “Yes We Can” Fundraising. Here are some other examples of relationship-building campaigns that took place last year.
MoveOn.org goes with soft (and supersoft) asks
Although the presidential campaigns really wanted your donations, they wanted your vote even more. Many organizations’ fundraising, advocacy and programs departments are siloed off from each other and struggle to effectively collaborate on shared goals. But in 2008, several fundraising standouts were multifaceted, integrated campaigns with components that didn’t always include an ask.
MoveOn.org produced some very snazzy pins during the presidential race. It promoted them on Facebook, e-mail blasts, blogs and more, giving supporters the option to get three for free or 45 for a $20 donation. It also offered a free “Yes We Did” sticker after the election, with no (hard) ask attached.
This is old-fashioned cultivation and stewardship — closely tied into the organization’s programmatic focus — arguably at its finest.
MoveOn.org also produced one of the pre-election season’s most popular viral videos, in which folks entered a name and a video was created featuring the submitted name as a wildly popular presidential contender.
Sarah Palin raises $1 million for Planned Parenthood
Yes, you read that correctly. Depending on your own social-networking use of the Internet — and political inclinations — you might (or might not) have seen several e-mails that spread like wildfire shortly after Sarah Palin was tapped to be John McCain’s vice presidential candidate. A truly grassroots effort, the forwarded e-mail invited you to donate to Planned Parenthood in Palin’s name, which would trigger the organization to send her a card (in care of the McCain for President headquarters) noting that a gift had been made in her honor. The original author of the campaign remains anonymous, but Planned Parenthood didn’t create or go out of its way to encourage it.