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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
Understanding Why People Give
Mar 27, 2015

Statistically, more than one-third of all charitable dollars given annually in the United States is directed to religion, and research...



Peeling the Onion

Katrina VanHuss
Vas Madness: What Nonprofits Can Learn From a March Madness Trend
Mar 27, 2015

Urologists noticed a bump in vasectomies at the start of March Madness, and they took action. Vas Madness was born....



ProSpeak

Who's Up Next?
Everything That Is Wrong With Our Retention Programs and How to Put Them Right
Mar 27, 2015

I know several fundraising directors who know for sure retention got worse after they introduced their loyalty programs. But they...



It's Your Turn

Larry C Johnson
Celebrating Your Volunteers
Mar 26, 2015

Kudos to those dedicated nonprofit development professionals who celebrate their volunteers. Those who know — and believe — that it's...



Old Dog Fundraising

Pamela Barden
4 Fundraising Questions I Can't Answer
Mar 26, 2015

Here are four fundraising questions I can't answer that have been haunting me lately....



Bedrocks & Beacons

Jeff Jowdy
How Is Your Fundraising Ground Game?
Mar 25, 2015

Never forget the ground game. At the end of the day, our biggest success lies in the personal connection —...



Navigating Off the Napkin

Angie Moore
8 Nonprofit Website Analytics to Find All the Gems From Your Web Engagement Data
Mar 24, 2015

There’s an enormous amount of information you can learn from your constituent engagement online. Are you mining those gems and...



Outside Counsel

Willis Turner
Nonprofit Copywriting: What Writers Say About Writer's Block
Mar 23, 2015

Do fundraising writers get writer's block? Does every writer? All writers talk about it. Some play complicated psychological tricks on...



Connections

Jeff Schreifels
Beyond Donor-Centered: Change Your Mission!
Mar 23, 2015

Is there anything about your donors in your nonprofit's mission statement? Probably not. It's a pretty rare occurrence if there...



Ruthlessly Practical Fundraising

Gail Perry
5 Keys to Get in the Door With a Mega-Capacity Donor
Mar 18, 2015

So you've identified your big kahuna potential prospect, your mega-capacity donor. What next? How do you get in the door?...



Digging Deeper

Matt Hugg
Go for the Green: Prepare for Year-End Fundraising Today
Mar 17, 2015

If you're on a June/July fiscal year, you need to make plans now for a strong year's end. That means...



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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