Case Studies: Using Printed Materials to Raise Funds in an Uncertain Economy
To generate interest and revenue, Pet Paw-see featured 12 animal lovers' pets as “pets of the month.” It held an auction to determine which pets would be featured. Each pet appeared in a full-page, color photo for a particular calendar month if its owner won the auction, with a minimum opening bid of $50. Owners could also submit their pets’ photos to become a “pet of the day” on any given day of the year for $10. Owners e-mailed their photos or had them scanned.
“The first year we sold about 400 calendars at $6 each and made about $4,000 total,” says Raynes. “The second year things have really taken off. Auction bids for the 'pets of the month' added up to $2,600, and we’ve made about $2,000 from 'pets of the day.'”
As word-of-mouth builds, an initial print run of 500 calendars has been ordered and will sell at $8 each.
“Our pet-themed calendar is growing as an annual fundraising platform,” says Raynes. “Its personalization keeps it fresh and exciting, while the theme gets our message out.”
Keeping history and nonprofits alive
On April 9, 2009, an F-3 tornado ripped through the town of Mena, Ark. Three people lost their lives the night of the storm. Thanks to one local historian, the memory will never be forgotten.
With an inexpensive digital camera, Shirley Manning documented the Mena tornado and created a booklet. She calls the little book “In Memory of Those Who Were Lost.” Flip through the booklet and you can experience the devastation that was caused by the tornado.
Manning decided to print a keepsake booklet to sell around town to help raise money for the cleanup effort at the Mena library, where she has volunteered for decades.
“Unlike electronic images, which get lost in e-mails or when computers crash, I wanted something lasting that people could hold in their hands,” she says.
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.