Case Studies: Using Printed Materials to Raise Funds in an Uncertain Economy
Park worked with an online print specialist to put together a four-color "Special Donor Recognition Issue" of ASL's newsletter. This included about a dozen pieces of art, along with the success stories and images of various emerging artists at the Art Students League.
The special donor-recognition issue tells the story of students like figurative painter Clarissa Payne Uvegi, who overcame some self-doubt to return to painting and get one of her large self-portraits displayed at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C.
Learning from the best
“If we don’t fundraise, we can’t function,” says Leslie Raynes, founder of Pet Paw-see Inc., a small nonprofit in Great Falls, Mont., that finds loving homes for animals and provides needed veterinary care, which costs the organization about $3,000 a month.
“For us, customizing an annual pet-themed calendar has been a great platform to publicize and fundraise,” Raynes said. “It’s personal for members and the public when they see their own animals in it; they get involved and excited. The first year we made about $4,000, and it’s looking even better our second year.”
Fundraising decision makers like Raynes need to know what the best revenue generators are and how to increase return and offset material costs. They also need to maximize advertising revenue, donations, community interest and even media coverage. One of the best ways they can guarantee success is by learning from other nonprofits that have done it best.
Raynes was able to achieve a major revenue boost from a themed custom calendar that’s become one of Pet Paw-see’s main annual fundraisers.
The first year Pet Paw-See put together a pet-themed calendar, a local photographer volunteered her services. The layout for the calendar was created from an online template that was available free from the organizaton's printing partner, Printing Center USA.
Del Williams is a technical writer based in Torrance, California. He writes about health, business, technology, and educational issues, and has an M.A. in English from C.S.U. Dominguez Hills.