Convio, Inc. – the leading provider of on-demand constituent relationship management software and services to nonprofit organizations – today announced record annual revenue of $57.0 million for the year ended December 31, 2008, representing a 32 percent increase over 2007. Generating $2.9 million in operating cash flow for the year, and $1.2 million for the fourth quarter, Convio has now produced positive cash flow from operations in five of the last six quarters. In addition, Convio achieved profitability on a non-GAAP basis for both the fourth quarter and for fiscal year 2008.
PACKAGE OF THE YEAR Gold: Habitat for Humanity International Special Development Appeal (Craver, Mathews, Smith & Co.) Silver: Rhode Island Community Food Bank Annual Review Brochure (DaVinci Direct) Bronze (Tie): Tuskegee Airmen — Charles McGee Campaign (Fundraising Strategies) CARE November/December World Report (Merkle) ACQUISITION (50,000 OR MORE MAILED) Gold: Utah Food Bank 2007 Thanksgiving Donor Acquisition (L.W. Robbins) Silver: Wildlife Conservation Spring 2007 Acquisition (Schultz & Williams) Bronze: Mail Call Hurts (Gum Version) (Fundraising Strategies) ACQUISITION (FEWER THAN 50,000 MAILED) Gold: Tuskegee Airmen — Charles McGee (Fundraising Strategies) Silver: Bidawee “Welcome” (SCA DIrect) Bronze: Adaptive Clothing Gift Tag Package (Fundraising Strategies) RENEWAL (50,000
Telemarketing can be a key component of an organization’s direct-marketing strategy — whether the goal is lapsed-donor conversion or upgrading existing donors to monthly giving programs. But it helps to learn a thing or two from experienced organizations — tips that can make setting up a telemarketing program a smoother process for everyone involved. In a session at the DMA Nonprofit Federation 2007 New York Nonprofit Conference, co-presenter Vicky Barrett-Putnam, director of donor development for the Sierra Club, talked about her organization’s telemarketing efforts. The Sierra Club has five telemarketing programs (renewals; reinstates — lapsed members; monthly givers; additional gift appeals; and its mid-level donor
One of the biggest challenges to telefundraising is making contact with the people you’re calling. But Jim Chmielewski, vice president of client services for telemarketing firm Public Interest Communications, says it’s worth the effort. For one thing, you can get immediate feedback from the person you’re contacting, whereas with direct mail, it takes time to receive feedback -- if you get any at all. So if an organization is looking to test a new case statement or issue, the telephone is great for that because it can get immediate feedback from its members. The telephone also works well when trying to convert
As a member of the press, I was barred — and rightfully so, I say — from attending the “Special Nonprofit Only Sessions” at the DMA Nonprofit Federation 2007 New York Nonprofit Conference last week. So I wasn’t able to hear the presentation on ways small nonprofits with limited resources can still compete with the big guys and win the hearts and wallets of donors. I did, however, have a chance to catch up with session presenters Joan Geiger, vice president of development for RAINN; Jerry McCathern, director of development at Hyacinth AIDS Foundation; and Tiffini Swanston, direct-marketing manager at the 92nd Street
While some people might think that nonprofit direct mail that contains myriad elements and flashy, four-color graphics is a waste of much-needed funds, there’s something to be said for the wowing effect of bells and whistles. Few organizations make as much noise in this regard as environmental-protection and advocacy organization Sierra Club. When Sierra Club tackles an issue in its direct mail, it leaves no stone unturned and no element out, packing those elements with loads of messaging and graphics. There’s something for everyone. For recipients not big on reading direct-mail letters, this mailing includes a 3-inch-by-4.25-inch six-panel insert with beautiful four-color pictures of wildlife
Sure, e-philanthropy is hot, but most nonprofit organizations still rely on direct mail as their fundraising workhorses. And the outer envelope is the wrapper for your all-important ask. It’s the first thing recipients see, feel and interact with.
As such, it requires a well-reasoned strategy that depends a lot on an organization’s mission, target audience and competition in the mail. Something that works for an advocacy group might not be right for a health organization. One thing that worked 10 years ago might still fly, while another favorite tactic could flop. It’s a testing game for each organization.
Direct mail is the only advertising medium that enables the sender to create a personal message. I did not say “personalized” — as in having the recipient’s name plastered all over the place, such as with return address labels or on a sweepstakes entry form. In this instance, “personal” means that the letter writer can make an intimate and emotional connection with the reader. As freelance copywriter Bill Jayme said, “In direct mail — as in theater — there is indeed a factor at work called the willing suspension of disbelief.”
The gay and lesbian communities have long been major supporters of charitable organizations in the United States. But it’s only recently that those organizations were able to openly acknowledge their gay donors — thanks in part to many who have self-identified in response to the growing maturity of the gay movement — and show that they are uniquely attuned to gay-rights issues and supportive of same-sex relationships.