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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.

 

It's Your Turn

Larry C Johnson
Running Into the New Year — How to Win With Year-End Fundraising
Oct 30, 2014

Focusing on high-cash giving not only maximizes actual year-end returns, but more importantly, builds motivation and commitment in the segment...



Old Dog Fundraising

Pamela Barden
3 Ideas to Improve (Almost) Any Fundraising Activity
Oct 30, 2014

Aren't your donors worth putting some extra effort into creating events and campaigns that are worth their time and, ultimately,...



Ruthlessly Practical Fundraising

Gail Perry
How Do We Attract, Develop and Retain Good Fundraisers?
Oct 29, 2014

There's an emerging movement to value talent, invest in the next generation, be open to change, and look for and...



ProSpeak

Who's Up Next?
The Winning Nonprofit Digital Stories From TechSoup's Storymakers Contest
Oct 29, 2014

We were blown away by the global participation in this year's campaign. Without further ado, we're thrilled to announce the winners...



Bedrocks & Beacons

Jeff Jowdy
It Is a Time of Thanks and to Celebrate Giving!
Oct 29, 2014

Thanksgiving is just a few weeks away. Take time today to be sure that you are maximizing this opportunity to...



Navigating Off the Napkin

Angie Moore
The Great Budget Excus … um … Debate
Oct 28, 2014

Budget management and budget cuts are never easy, but becoming stagnant and not trying to change is not the answer....



Pay It Forward

F. Duke Haddad
Do You Have Triple Crown Award-Winning Volunteers?
Oct 27, 2014

Charities should motivate their volunteers to strive for their own individual Triple Crown Award each fiscal year, which represents a...



Connections

Jeff Schreifels
Major-Gifts Officers: Do You Have a Confidant?
Oct 27, 2014

Extend your hands, bring someone in and allow yourself to share the pressure of your work with someone else, where...



Outside Counsel

Willis Turner
Want More Loyalty? Grant These 6 Donor Wishes
Oct 27, 2014

It's not always easy to make your donors' wishes come true. But if you don't put forth the effort to...



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.
...



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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