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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.

 

Pay It Forward

F. Duke Haddad
Super Service Challenge: A Wonderful Concept for Corporate Philanthropy!
Jan 30, 2015

I was recently invited to a reception called the Super Service Challenge through The Salvation Army's involvement with DEFENDER. This...



Old Dog Fundraising

Pamela Barden
Fundraising Decision-Making: No Power in the Audience of 1
Jan 29, 2015

For some reason, fundraisers or their bosses often put too much weight on the opinion of an audience of one....



It's Your Turn

Larry C Johnson
Reaching Out — and Reclaiming the Relationship
Jan 29, 2015

Pay particular attention to renewing your relationships with those loyal supporters as you reach out to potential new donors. Never...



Ruthlessly Practical Fundraising

Gail Perry
How Fundraising Is Turning Into 'Fund Marketing'
Jan 28, 2015

Communications best practices merge the "fundraising" function and the "marketing/communications" function. So if you want to be successful at fundraising,...



Bedrocks & Beacons

Jeff Jowdy
7 Deadly Sins of Fundraising
Jan 28, 2015

A campaign to encourage board giving had too many foundational principles that were violated. Here are the seven deadly sins...



Navigating Off the Napkin

Angie Moore
Nonprofit Marketers: Do You Bring Full Value to the Table?
Jan 27, 2015

"Marketers" have unique roles within nonprofit organizations, but what about you and your direct marketing team?...



Connections

Jeff Schreifels
Being Authentic: The Only Way You Can Be as a Major-Gifts Officer
Jan 26, 2015

One of the greatest struggles as a major-gifts officer, and for colleagues who work with major donors, is to be...



Outside Counsel

Willis Turner
Story Styles That Open Readers' Wallets, Part 1
Jan 26, 2015

It takes a little extra effort, and often some extra homework, to make case studies compelling enough to persuade a...



Get Engaged

Margaret Battistelli
What's Cooking in 2015?
Jan 7, 2015

Here's your chance to chime in and help us paint a picture of trends and best practices across all aspects...



ProSpeak

Who's Up Next?
Why Nonprofits Should Run Like Businesses
Jan 13, 2015

Throughout my career, as a "reformed" lawyer, I have learned that in order to succeed in raising funds as a...



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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