Conference Speaker: Sept. 11 Proved Online Fundraising Can Work

Share this content:
NEW YORK -- Sept. 11 proved that fundraising online can succeed, said yesterday's keynote speaker at the Direct Marketing Association Nonprofit Federation's 2002 New York Nonprofit Conference.


About 30 percent of the money raised for 9/11 relief by the American Red Cross was donated online, said Peter Frumkin, senior fellow at the New America Foundation and assistant professor at Harvard University, though much of it was unsolicited. While donors flocked to the Internet in record numbers, the majority gave to organizations they already knew and trusted.


"We can learn about the nature of giving from this event," he said.


The biggest public relations disaster came when the Red Cross said it would use some of the money for future disaster relief. This problem could have been avoided, he said, had organizations been clear from the beginning about how the money would be used.


In a session afterward, panelist Phyllis Freeman, senior vice president and marketing director at Epsilon, discussed an informal survey of nonprofits post-Sept. 11, which found:


· 99 percent added inserts to mailings.


· 85 percent maintained their planned mail volume after Sept. 11.


· 75 percent changed copy.


· 75 percent eliminated test panels.


· 25 percent added an extra mailing.


None of the respondents, however, said they made permanent changes.


Panelist Chris Cleghorn, senior vice president of direct and interactive marketing at Easter Seals, shared what his organization did in response to Sept. 11.


"When the first attack occurred, Easter Seals had three main mail pieces hitting homes and its new fiscal year had just begun on Sept. 1," he said. "The organization decided to adjust slightly but stay the course."


Easter Seals trimmed its acquisition program to eliminate marginal lists, added an insert addressing Sept. 11, added a U.S. flag to its outer envelope and added its logo to the outer envelope. The organization also dropped an extra appeal to its house file.


In retrospect, Cleghorn said, the initial appeal -- which went out pre-9/11 -- pulled 20 percent better than the previous year. The first package with the flag was up 13 percent from the previous year, but dropped 10 percent in a subsequent mailing. The logo envelope mailing fell 8 percent.


"The general message is stay the course," he said. "Most of the things we did probably didn't help."


close

Next Article in Marketing Strategy

Sign up to our newsletters

Company of the Week

Brightcove is the world's leading video platform. The most innovative and respected brands confidently rely on Brightcove to solve their most demanding communication challenges because of the unmatched performance and flexibility of our platform, our global scale and reliability, and our award-winning service. With thousands of customers and an industry-leading suite of cloud video products, Brightcove enables customers to drive compelling business results.

Find out more here »

Career Center

Check out hundreds of exciting professional opportunities available on DMN's Career Center.  
Explore careers in digital marketing, sales, eCommerce, marketing communications, IT, data strategies, and much more. And don't forget to update your resume so employers can contact you privately about job opportunities.

>>Click Here

Relive the 2017 Marketing Hall of Femme

Click the image above