Strike a Match
After deliberation with its full-service agency partner, LW Robbins, the CGF was able to quickly roll out an emergency appeal that preceded its annual Memorial Day campaign.
The key to any fundraising appeal is planning, and that is especially true in an emergency. While no one knows when an emergency will present itself or what form it will take, it’s vital to have steps already in place to deploy such a campaign.
That’s why LW Robbins and CGF always have a plan, complete with stock templates, in place for when such cases arise. And it helps that LW Robbins and CGF already executed such a campaign in 2008, when another tragic crash in Hawaii took the lives of Coast Guard members.
“The first time we did an emergency appeal for the Coast Guard Foundation, they were very concerned about going out and having the appearance of taking advantage of the situation,” says Andy Laudano, vice president of fundraising at LW Robbins. “But the truth of the matter is when they did it, the response rate was through the roof and they didn’t get one complaint. People were excited to support the campaign.
“We knew this was not just a good way to fundraise, but a good way to reach out to members, show them the mission in action, show them something tangible happening now,” he adds.
With the past experience and the help of LW Robbins, CGF was able to use the templates already in place to turn around an appeal quickly once the tragedy hit and get it out within 48 hours. In order to raise as much money as possible as quickly as possible for bereaved families, LW Robbins and CGF created an inexpensive, “rapid response” format to convey urgency so donors would act immediately.