Geoff Peters

As announced last week, Jo Black Sullivan, who has served at the ASPCA for a decade — most recently as executive vice president of external affairs — has accepted a position with CDR Fundraising Group as senior director of integrated marketing and manager of direct-response television. We had a chance to catch up with her last week and to talk about what she'll be doing at CDR, keys to her successes at ASPCA and what she believes the future holds for the nonprofit sector.

To: Geoff Peters
I enjoyed your article in FundRaising Success (“Fundraising and the Economy,” January). Couldn’t have come out at a better time. Your explanation of the two most vulnerable channels is insightful, and your multichannel point is right on target.

Aside from looming postal issues, the future of direct mail looks increasingly bright because of an inevitable massive expansion of your prime audience. It is well-known that among the various fundraising channels, direct mail appeals mostly to the oldest demographic. Your files typically have a median donor age of mid-70s.

Whenever the economy enters a recession, parts of the fundraising industry and much of the commercial industry enter “crisis mode.” The two most vulnerable giving channels are probably 1) corporate donors, sponsors and partners (particularly among corporations hit hardest by the recession) and 2) foundations, because their assets have decreased so significantly.

A U.S. Marine in his dress blues remains stone-faced as a young boy looks up and asks him if he’s Santa Claus. “Heard you might be him,” the boy says. “If you are him, here’s my list.” Finally, the serviceman acknowledges the boy, opening his white-gloved hand to take the list. Walking away, the boy says, “He is Santa Claus.” That public service announcement for the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program has been melting hearts and opening wallets for 10 years, continuing the tradition that has allowed the 60-year-old organization to bring more than 386 million shiny, new toys to

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