Hey Fundraisers: It’s Time to Show Your Stuff!

I love reading direct mail and email. Not just because it’s my job, but because of the insights that I get, and can pass on to others.

Fundraising campaigns are particularly interesting because of how much they rely on emotion, content, and storytelling to drive action. The kinds of things some marketers in the for-profit sector should pay more attention to.

Since 2006, NonProfit PRO, a sister brand of Target Marketing, has held the Gold Awards for Fundraising Excellence. I’ve been honored to be a judge for that entire time, and will be again this year.

I love reading direct mail and email. Not just because it’s my job with Who’s Mailing What!, but because of the insights that I get, and can pass on to others.

Fundraising campaigns are particularly interesting because of how much they rely on emotion, content, and storytelling to drive action. The kinds of things some marketers in the for-profit sector should pay more attention to.

Since 2006, NonProfit PRO, a sister brand of Target Marketing, has held a competition for the Gold Awards for Fundraising Excellence. I’ve been honored to be a judge for that entire time, and will be again this year.

WorldvisionI’ve included a few images from past winners, by the way, in this post.

So, the competition opened yesterday. If you’re with a nonprofit or agency (or know someone who is), and you’ve achieved some stellar results, you can get the ball rolling here. See what your colleagues have done in past years here and here.

Categories include direct mail, email, peer-to-peer, special events, social media, and much more. All efforts must have run in calendar year 2015.

And why should you submit your campaigns? Because great work deserves to be seen, and rewarded.

MASPCA_01Sometimes I’m just staggered at how so much effort from so many people goes into a campaign, from the initial brainstorming, to rollout, to evaluating the results of whatever channel or channels were used.

I’ve always taken the words of Denny Hatch to heart:

You cannot judge good direct marketing; it judges you.

In other words, good direct marketing does what it was designed to do. It doesn’t matter if you hate it/don’t understand it/are horrified by it. If it works, it’s good. And it’s your job (and my job) to analyze it and figure out why it worked. And then steal smart.

But with the Gold Awards, it’s not all about how much money a multichannel effort netted, or the cost to raise a dollar for a direct mail package. If it were, all of those figures would dictate who won.

CCDBesides the money, we want you tell us how a campaign engaged your donors and made an impact. How it was a game-changer. How it helped support your non-profit’s mission, or met its goals.

Whether you were daring or plain, innovative or tried-and-true, please let us know.

Move us with your powerful stories and images. Inspire us with your copy. Impress us with your results and ROI.

Whatever you’ve done and you’re proud of, we’d love to see it!

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