Tough but Fun
First, my sincere apologies to the intrepid folks who judged the 2006 Gold Awards for Fundraising Excellence. I knew it would be tough. I warned them … I did! But no one expected it to take as long as it did or to be as demanding as it was.
For a good 10 hours, the four judges camped out at our offices here in Philadelphia and painstakingly studied and rated nearly 90 direct-mail packages, and multi-channel and Web-based campaigns. My job was to keep them fed and stay out of their way.
Like last year, the panel thought it was pretty cool to see so many efforts laid out at once and to get a look at the strategic planning that went into them and the numbers that resulted. I thought it was pretty cool that they had out their reading glasses and calculators. As instructed, they were looking beyond the glitz and glamour, beyond the bells and whistles, and paying close attention to results. Pretty packages are all well and good, but if their cost-to-raise-a-dollar stats are out of whack, then they really haven’t done their jobs.
Lesson learned for next year: Break the judging into two days or have a pre-screening where one group of judges narrows the finalists to a manageable number and a second group comes in to make the final call.
All that said, we hope you’ll find the results both interesting and, more importantly, useful as you contemplate your next campaign.
Untangling our Web (site)
When you get a chance, take a look at the FS Web site at www.fundraisingsuccessmag.com. The feel is new, more streamlined and, we believe, more practical for our readers. You still can find links to the current cover story and some of the current features, but there’s more fresh, ever-changing content. One nice feature is our seriously robust Job Connection, for anyone who might be looking to make a change.