Big Duck Studio

Don't Rob Peter to Pay Paul
October 1, 2006

A few years ago, a school I attended launched a multi-million dollar capital campaign. Because I regularly give to its annual appeal and a few other random appeals each year, the school probably considers me a mid-level donor — reliable for some support but not necessarily worth a lot of face-to-face cultivation.

And the Winners Are …
September 1, 2006

Grueling is the word that crossed the lips of the intrepid judges for our 2006 Gold Awards for Fundraising Excellence as they made their way out of our offices one hot afternoon in August.

Not that we’re particularly demanding taskmasters, but the competition was, indeed, fierce. Much to our glee, it grew from 33 packages in 2005 to nearly 90 this year (sent in by 21 agencies and four nonprofit organizations). Some of the categories remained the same, but we added a few and tweaked a few others.

Snap to Focus
August 1, 2006

On reading our February WebWatch featuring the Save the Children Web site, a member of the development staff at Surgical Eye Expeditions International, a Santa Barbara, Calif.-based organization that provides medical, surgical and educational services to disadvantaged blind people worldwide, requested that we critique SEE’s site.

I enlisted the help of Sarah Durham, principal and founder of NYC-based communications firm Big Duck, which works exclusively with nonprofits.

Weave Your Web Wisely
October 11, 2005

Weave Your Web Wisely FS Advisor: Oct. 11, 2005 By Sarah Durham and Ali Kiselis Who knew the success of a nonprofit and that of a spider hang on a common thread? A spider’s life, much like a nonprofit’s campaign, relies heavily on the strength of their Web and how well it integrates into their environment. An intricate Web design takes careful planning and resources, but it can pay off time after time as an effective means to attract and retain visitors. And while we don’t want to spin this comparison too far, our eight-legged friends raise an important fundraising reminder: When you wisely

Insert Success Story Here
April 1, 2005

In the for-profit world, insert media no longer is considered an “alternative” marketing channel. Program managers are seeing significant usage by mailers seeking vehicles to brand and sample their myriad products and services. But for most nonprofits, an insert is still just an alternative, a substitute, a backup.

One of the greatest challenges for charities considering insert media, according to Curt Weigel, account supervisor at Seattle-based direct-marketing agency the Domain Group, is finding enough relevant programs to accommodate a campaign’s fundraising needs.

Fundraising With Heart
March 1, 2005

A one-week-a-year campaign that raises $200,000 over three years? Not bad.

More aggressive is increasing your development goal for that campaign to $100,000 in a single year.