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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...



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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