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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.

 

Peeling the Onion

Katrina VanHuss
The Walking Dead Sabotage Nonprofits
May 22, 2015

Recently I've written about my personal epiphany regarding the expense-is-all-that-matters filter through which we/I have looked at nonprofits' effectiveness. The...



Pay It Forward

F. Duke Haddad
The Importance of Marketing Yourself
May 22, 2015

Don't ever forget to market yourself. You are your most important product and key to your ultimate institutional success. No...



Old Dog Fundraising

Pamela Barden
You Asked—Fundraising Questions Answered, Part Three
May 21, 2015

This is the final article in a series of three that follow up on questions submitted during the NonProfit PRO...



Ruthlessly Practical Fundraising

Gail Perry
6 Ways to Get The Most Out of a Major Donor Visit
May 20, 2015

You finally have the appointment with your major donor. Don't strike out when you finally get in the door. Here...



Bedrocks & Beacons

Jeff Jowdy
The Power of One
May 20, 2015

It only takes one person—and it has to take one person—to start a movement or an organization, to turn around...



Navigating Off the Napkin

Angie Moore
Are You Going to Fall Out of Searches Now?
May 19, 2015

Big changes have happened at Google, and whether your website is mobile or not is going to affect how they...



Connections

Jeff Schreifels
Outrageous Service—Why It’s a Must in Major Gift Fundraising
May 18, 2015

I often run into fundraisers who somehow get it in their head that their donors only support their organization. Now,...



It's Your Turn

Larry C Johnson
It’s There—Waiting for You
May 14, 2015

Far too often, nonprofit leaders adopt a scarcity mentality. There's never enough. There's more competition for philanthropic dollars subdividing a...



ProSpeak

Who's Up Next?
Yes You Can: Ground Rules for Nonprofit Lobbying and Advocacy
May 5, 2015

Given the many issues facing nonprofits today, and the people they serve, it is more important than ever to get...



Digging Deeper

Matt Hugg
Are You in Their Head?
Apr 28, 2015

How well do you know the people you serve? How well do you know the folks you solicit for gifts?...



Outside Counsel

Willis Turner
How to Write a Fundraising Drip Campaign
Apr 27, 2015

According to the Rule of 7, it takes an average of seven exposures to a message before it sinks in...



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...



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...



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...



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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