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Managing Editor

Get What You Give

By Joe Boland

About Joe

Joe loves the 5 F's: food, fun, friends, football and fundraising

Joe has been with FundRaising Success since 2008, first as the magazine's copy editor, then senior editor and now managing editor. Prior to joining the magazine, he was a sportswriter for Montgomery Newspapers, covering high school and community sports in suburban Philadelphia. He is a graduate of Penn State University in University Park, Pa. Contact him via e-mail at jboland@napco.com or on Twitter at @JoeBolandFRS.

 

Ruthlessly Practical Fundraising

Gail Perry
The Fastest Way to Ruin Your Appeal Letter
Oct 22, 2014

Be explicit, don't beat around the bush, get to the point and be clear in your fundraising appeal letter. You'll...



Bedrocks & Beacons

Jeff Jowdy
Major Gifts: People Aren't Always Who or What They Seem
Oct 22, 2014

There are many ways to prospect for potential major donors. But to really uncover opportunity, there is no substitute for...



Navigating Off the Napkin

Angie Moore
Giving Tuesday: I’ve Changed My Mind
Oct 21, 2014

Is Giving Tuesday about raising awareness or raising money — or both?...



Connections

Richard Perry
What Should Your Total Caseload Value Be?
Oct 20, 2014

It is very important to have a clear handle on what your caseload value currently is and if that number...



Pay It Forward

F. Duke Haddad
The Best Birthday Gift of All
Oct 17, 2014

Think about ways your organization can partner with others to help those in need. It may stir your passion toward...



Old Dog Fundraising

Pamela Barden
A Tale of 4 Acquisition Efforts
Oct 16, 2014

When I open an envelope, I want to quickly grasp what it is I am being "offered" — what problem...



It's Your Turn

Larry C Johnson
How to Know If You'll Be Successful
Oct 16, 2014

Although the outcomes of any given fundraising effort cannot be known with absolute certainty, assessing the probability of success isn't...



Outrageous Hope

Margaret Battistelli
Engage P2P Conference Is Next Week
Oct 15, 2014

Join FundRaising Success in Washington, D.C., next week for our inaugural peer-to-peer conference, Engage P2P: Redefining Peer to Peer.
...



ProSpeak

Who's Up Next?
5 Steps to Measuring Nonprofit Website Success
Oct 14, 2014

Because your website is so important, we should consider some ways to evaluate and measure its success. Here are five...



Outside Counsel

Willis Turner
More Usage Mistakes Writers Make
Oct 13, 2014

Part 2 of my alphabetical list of writing mistakes that are easy to make but important to avoid.
...



Donor Trippin'

Nick Allen
Is There an App for Us?
Jul 1, 2014

Got an idea for an app that could connect a charity or nonprofit with its supporters and beneficiaries in an...



Raising the Possibilities

Thaddeus B. Kubis
Recurring Themes: The Case for Integrated Marketing Communications, Part 2
Dec 27, 2013

Recent discussions focus on a myriad of topics, but in the past two months, the recurring targeted topics seem to...



Hump Day Hullabaloo

Jo Sullivan
Hump Day Hullaballoo: Sometimes It's Hell in the Hallway
May 22, 2013

This week, as I transition into my new position as interim executive director at Save the Chimps, we're talking about...



Christmas in November

 
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More and more, it seems fundraisers and nonprofit consultants are touting the idea that "it's never too early" to start planning for the year-end holiday giving season. And recently, it seems like holiday fundraising campaigns are starting earlier and earlier.

For instance, the famous Salvation Army Red Kettle campaign now kicks off as soon as the calendar flips to November, and if the mailing I received from St. Jude Children's Research Hospital over the weekend is any indication, other nonprofits are following suit.

Truth be told, I was a little surprised to see a green envelope with the teaser, "Will you please send a Christmas card for a St. Jude child to hang on a tree? We've enclosed one for you to send …" — see the envelope at right — before Thanksgiving rolled around, but really, I shouldn't have been. After all, department stores begin pushing the holiday sales season right after Halloween (sometimes before), so why shouldn't fundraisers get a jump-start on their biggest time of the year as well?

The outer also had an image of a snowman on the front, and inside is a one-sheet, two-page (front and back) letter detailing the emotional story and words of Kayla, an 8-year-old St. Jude patient. The letter is remarkable, putting a face and name to the plight of children's cancer, and it's also uplifting in bringing about the holiday spirit.

But the standout of the package is without question the Christmas card element. Not only is there a card with the same snowman image as the envelope and the words "Merry Christmas" on top for donors to sign and return so a St. Jude patient can hang it on the tree, but there is also a thank-you card with a picture of Kayla that really hits the donor. Inside, it reads, "Without you and St. Jude, this Christmas wouldn't be as merry. Thank you." Adding the ultimate touch, it is signed by Kayla's parents. (View at right.)

Anymore, it seems, the year-end holiday giving season isn't just for December. Just take the examples of the Salvation Army and St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, which begin their campaigns centered around Christmas in the month of November.

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