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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
Giving Tuesday: I’ve Changed My Mind
Oct 21, 2014

Is Giving Tuesday about raising awareness or raising money — or both?...



Connections

Richard Perry
What Should Your Total Caseload Value Be?
Oct 20, 2014

It is very important to have a clear handle on what your caseload value currently is and if that number...



Pay It Forward

F. Duke Haddad
The Best Birthday Gift of All
Oct 17, 2014

Think about ways your organization can partner with others to help those in need. It may stir your passion toward...



Old Dog Fundraising

Pamela Barden
A Tale of 4 Acquisition Efforts
Oct 16, 2014

When I open an envelope, I want to quickly grasp what it is I am being "offered" — what problem...



It's Your Turn

Larry C Johnson
How to Know If You'll Be Successful
Oct 16, 2014

Although the outcomes of any given fundraising effort cannot be known with absolute certainty, assessing the probability of success isn't...



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.
...



Ruthlessly Practical Fundraising

Gail Perry
How Your Board Can Increase Donations by 39 Percent — Without Asking for Money
Oct 15, 2014

Personal thank-you calls are a way to put board members to work, even if they're nervous about asking for money....



Bedrocks & Beacons

Jeff Jowdy
Who Knows You?
Oct 15, 2014

Life is full of reciprocity. Be someone whom people know by knowing them, and for those of us in the...



ProSpeak

Who's Up Next?
5 Steps to Measuring Nonprofit Website Success
Oct 14, 2014

Because your website is so important, we should consider some ways to evaluate and measure its success. Here are five...



Outside Counsel

Willis Turner
More Usage Mistakes Writers Make
Oct 13, 2014

Part 2 of my alphabetical list of writing mistakes that are easy to make but important to avoid.
...



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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