Three Ideas for Creating a Winning Holiday Campaign
When creating a holiday fundraising campaign, it’s important to make your message as specific and tangible as possible, says Tom Gaffny, executive vice president and managing director of the fundraising division of relationship-marketing firm Epsilon.
In 2005, Epsilon won five awards for creative excellence in the nonprofit sector from the New England Direct Marketing Association (NEDMA), one of which was a Gold Award in the category of Best Art Direction for its work on a holiday campaign for Volunteers of America — an organization dedicated to helping at-risk youths, elderly, abused and neglected children, the disabled and the homeless.
Gaffny says there are three key tenets that guided the firm’s work on this campaign, and that guide its work on all the holiday campaigns it creates for clients. They are:
1. Focus on a specific and tangible way that the recipient can make a difference. The Volunteers of America appeal focused on the specific need to provide decent shelter to homeless children living on the street. Epsilon designed a self-mailer that folded out to a 24-inch-by-24-inch square piece of paper.
“The concept was that this piece of paper was actually the space that this young boy named Billy and his sister huddled on in a corner of an abandoned building one night when it was freezing outside,” Gaffny says. “So we tried to not just talk about the issue of homeless kids on the street during the holidays but tried to dramatize and let the donor actually see what that little space on the floor might have looked like.”
The mailing’s teaser — which began on the outer of the self-mailer — read, “Last night while the winter wind howled outside and the temperature dropped below freezing and you thanked God you had a warm place to rest your head, Billy and his sister walked outside in the cold until they finally found a home for the night, and it was a home in an abandoned building the size of this square.”