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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.

 

Navigating Off the Napkin

Angie Moore
Can We Talk About What 'Not Interested' Means?
Aug 19, 2014

The next time you're tempted to say "I'm not interested," I highly recommend you break that down and understand what...



Connections

Jeff Schreifels
Are You Delighting Your Donors?
Aug 18, 2014

There are hundreds of ways to do just that. But none of them will do any good unless you actually...



Outside Counsel

Willis Turner
Are the People Reading Your Mail Ruining It?
Aug 18, 2014

Here are 17 ways to help others judge a fundraising letter.
...



Pay It Forward

F. Duke Haddad
Flip the Agenda at Your Next Volunteer Board Meeting
Aug 15, 2014

Never stay satisfied with any meeting, agenda or process. It is everyone's responsibility to drive time, talent and treasure to...



Old Dog Fundraising

Pamela Barden
Fundraising Is Not ...
Aug 14, 2014

Fundraising isn't painless — but the joy it brings makes our profession amazing.
...



Ruthlessly Practical Fundraising

Gail Perry
7 Rules for Successfully Soliciting Your Board
Aug 13, 2014

You can take charge behind the scenes and successfully get your board members to give. But it will never happen...



Bedrocks & Beacons

Jeff Jowdy
The Big 3 Ingredients in a Successful Fundraising Campaign
Aug 13, 2014

A compelling case, inspiring leadership, the right plan, and skillfully and timely execution are essential!...



ProSpeak

Who's Up Next?
The Perfect Recipe for Donor Prospect List Segmentation
Aug 11, 2014

Looking for the perfect recipe for donor prospect list segmentation? With just a few ingredients, you can tailor every donor...



Outrageous Hope

Margaret Battistelli
Engage P2P Keynote: Marty Coelho
Jul 29, 2014

Marty Coelho was one of the driving forces behind Relay for Life. You probably don't  know him in that context....



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...



What Does DRTV Fundraising During the Super Bowl Say to Donors?

 
On Sunday, millions of people will gather with their families and friends, ingest ungodly amounts of food and huddle around television sets to take in the Super Bowl, the most watched event every year.

Many of those people will be watching for the sole purpose of checking out the advertising commercials, which always get a ton of notoriety and critiques — and understandably so. Since the Super Bowl is so widely viewed, advertising spots cost literally millions of dollars. And that's why, typically, there are very few fundraising DRTV ads from nonprofits during the big game. As you know, fundraising budgets are tight enough as is — finding the cash to run an ad during the Super Bowl is simply not practical for most organizations.

That doesn't mean, however, that nonprofits have been completely absent in the Super Bowl advertising space. In fact, last year SeaWeb, an international organization dedicated to using the science of communications to fundamentally shift the way people interact with the ocean, ran a 30-second spot, which garnered some attention but curiously was absent of any real call to action. And this year, the Milk Processor Education Program (MilkPEP) (Got milk?), which is committed to increasing fluid milk consumption, will air a 30-second ad of its own, according to Advertising Age.

While I don't have the metrics and results on last year's SeaWeb campaign and cannot predict the outcomes for MilkPEP, I wonder what kind of message it sends to donors when a nonprofit shells out the big bucks to run a Super Bowl ad. Yes, this is an opportunity to reach more people than any fundraiser could hope for, and it certainly puts an organization in front of eyes that may not have been drawn to the organization otherwise. But in an era of accountability and fiscal scrutiny of nonprofits — whether right or wrong — it seems like spending so much money that could be invested into the organization may send the wrong message that an organization is more concerned with brand awareness than with investing in its programs and working toward its mission.

It's certainly an interesting debate, because it very well may be worth it for an organization that can afford it to run a Super Bowl DRTV fundraising ad, both in bringing in donors and dollars. But I can't help but wonder whether or not donors think it's a useful way to spend the funds they send in.

I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments. What do you think? Has your organization ever run a Super Bowl ad (or an extremely expensive ad)? If so, was it worth it? Good results? Let us know!

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