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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 Right Way to Ask
Nov 26, 2014

Always include the impact of the gift when you ask for money. This makes your ask feel not about the...



Bedrocks & Beacons

Jeff Jowdy
Gratitude in 3 Steps
Nov 26, 2014

"If you are really thankful, what do you do? You share," said W. Clement Stone....



Outside Counsel

Willis Turner
Will This Bad Fundraising Idea Ever Die?
Nov 24, 2014

There's a lot of talk about the need for innovation in fundraising. As there should be. But before new ideas...



Connections

Jeff Schreifels
Are You Truly Thankful for Your Donors?
Nov 24, 2014

My question to you: Are you really thankful for all of your donors? Do they know how much they are...



Pay It Forward

F. Duke Haddad
Consistent Performance Is Key
Nov 21, 2014

Think about your work performance, and strive to give it your best each day. You will drive home with a...



ProSpeak

Who's Up Next?
Sustaining Your Sustainers: Taking Your Monthly Giving Program to the Next Level
Nov 21, 2014

The key to success with monthly giving programs is stewardship. Building and maintaining strong relationships with monthly donors are essential....



Old Dog Fundraising

Pamela Barden
A Pre-Holiday Gift for Fundraisers: More Time
Nov 20, 2014

If you are hoping for a personal copy of Hermione's time turner, I can't help you (sorry, non-Harry Potter fans),...



It's Your Turn

Larry C Johnson
Blasting Off With Social Media
Nov 20, 2014

Change is coming to philanthropy. Big change. Hoping it will "blow over" is not a workable response. Doing what you've...



Outrageous Hope

Margaret Battistelli
Our Virtual Show Is Fast Approaching
Nov 18, 2014

The FundRaising Success Virtual Conference and Expo is free, and it's only a few weeks away, so be sure to...



Navigating Off the Napkin

Angie Moore
You Need a Social Plan Before You Start Playing With the Social Channels
Nov 10, 2014

Why? Because 53 percent of you are not measuring your social-media efforts and 67 percent have no social-media strategy. We...



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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