Direct Response

‘Dear Skippy …’
June 1, 2006

Imagine a school fundraising letter so personlized that it contains a quote not from just any teacher at the school, but rather from your child’s teacher. Or both your children’s different teachers. A letter that also went to the Joneses down the street, but with quotes from the Jones kids’ teachers.

Variable data imaging allows mailers to create mail pieces with different, often highly personalized text and images; its use so far has been mostly by for-profit mailers for high-value direct-mail campaigns, bills, statements and invoices. But Sarasota, Fla.-based private school The Out-of-Door Academy took a shot with it and found great success.

Don't Suffocate Your Readers
May 1, 2006

Not long ago, I was shopping at Whole Foods when I realized with a jolt that I was just an appliquéed theme sweater away from turning into my mother.

There I was, squinting helplessly at a product label I couldn’t read. Hoping to auto focus my eyes like a telephoto lens, I stretched the item out as far as my hand would reach and brought it back again to within an inch of my face. No luck.

Trendy … Yet Timeless
May 1, 2006

When used in concert with each other and with your other fundraising strategies, omnipresent technological companions such as TVs, cell phones and computers can help you net more quality donors and perhaps even nudge them into the fundraising holy ground that is monthly giving.

Talking Back
May 1, 2006

Is your organization “pushing the envelope” with direct mail? Tell us about your most daring DM efforts.

Fundraising Unleashed!
April 1, 2006

If there were to be crowned a Richard Simmons of nonprofit fundraising in the United States, ASPCA Senior Vice President of Development and Communications Jo Sullivan just might fill those sequined short-shorts.

Casting a Wide ‘Net’
March 1, 2006

For years, Washington, D.C.-based The Humane Society of the United States ignored the Internet’s full potential to reach donors and supporters.

Here’s the situation we found ourselves in: HSUS’ Web site in April 2003 had been transferred to its third department in five years. While the site was graphically appealing and content rich, it ran on proprietary software developed by a company that no longer was in business.

Don't Sweat the Small Stuff
March 1, 2006

A professor stood before his class, picked up a large jar and filled it with golf balls. He asked his students if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

Then he poured pebbles into the jar. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. Again he asked if the jar was full, and the students responded, “Yes.” Next he poured sand into the jar, and it filled up everything else. Again he asked the students if the jar was full, and they said, “Yes.”

Political Direct Marketing 2004
September 1, 2004

Two months from now, President George W. Bush and Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry will wage their final battle for the White House, capping off an emotionally charged, hard-driving election campaign that has seized American consciousness like no other.

To illustrate, consider that when George H.W. Bush ran for re-election against Bill Clinton in 1992, he didn’t mention him by name until July. And in 1996, Clinton didn’t mention Bob Dole by name until August. This time around, the candidates traded barbs as early as Super Tuesday in March.