SEATTLE, April 7, 2009 — The Matale Line, a branding and communications agency for nonprofits, announced today the publication of Times Change, Values Don't: 5 Ways to Recession-Proof Your Brand, the latest in a series of white papers penned by executive director Bill Toliver.
U.S. Fund For UNICEF
2008 was an amazing roller-coaster of a year on so many levels, filled with soaring highs and abysmal lows. A couple of the highlights: The Phillies won the World Series — hey, we’re in Philadelphia; it was a big deal (but whether it made the Eagles’ smashed Super Bowl dreams any less painful is debatable); and, oh yeah, history was made in the political arena when the American people gave Barack Obama the presidency.
Robert Thompson has spent more than half of his life helping charitable organizations raise money. And his 26-year fundraising career has been as diverse as it’s been long.
After a brainstorming session one day, the Yoda of direct-response fundraising and I were mulling over ideas the group had generated. “You know,” Yoda said, “there really are no new offers anymore. It was easier to be brilliant before everybody started doing this. Now, you have to find a really good hook, or just the right spin, to make it seem new.”
Celebrity supporters that have an affinity and passion for an organization’s mission can help gain media exposure and attention for a cause, among a host of other things. The U.S. Fund for UNICEF has used celebrities as ambassadors for its cause for more than 50 of its 60 years. Actor Danny Kaye was the organization’s first celebrity representative, serving as a Goodwill Ambassador from 1954 until his death in 1987. Among other things he did in support of the organization, Kaye toured UNICEF projects in Myanmar, India, Indonesia, Korea, Thailand and Japan, creating a documentary of his travels called “Assignment: Children.” The
UNICEF is like no other organization in the world. Founded in 1946 to help children in post-war Europe, China and the Middle East, the organization now has 37 national committees and gives aid to disadvantaged children in 156 countries and territories, providing services that include immunization, education, health care, nutrition, clean water and sanitation.
I ’ve had the privilege of working for international fundraisers for the past few years. And that’s given me the advantage of seeing great ideas born and developed around the globe.
Until then, my view of new techniques was limited to thinking that fundraising, particularly direct-response fundraising, pretty much was an American institution.
In April, the United States Fund for UNICEF relaunched its Web site, www.unicefusa.org, to accommodate the recent global rebranding of UNICEF, add user and donor functionality, and increase overall Web visibility.
Partnering with Internet-software and -services firm Kintera, the organization focused on three core elements: fundraising, advocacy and education. Among the many new features, the site now captures member data for a more personalized Web experience, deploys eNews and allows visitors to take immediate action on children’s issues.
Once considered haphazard and uncoordinated, international relief and rescue efforts have come into their own as vital fundraising campaigns. Whether responding to the grave effects of a natural disaster or to the plight of malnourished children in third-world countries, organizations such as American Red Cross, CARE, UNICEF, Food for the Hungry, International Rescue Committee and a host of others have heeded the global call.