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"fundraising is not a clockwork..."

  Oranges For Research
  The Community-Journal
  Guide Star
  Philantropic Research
  No Peace...
  ...Without Justice


Roberto Dondi
Word processing, html programming and the ropes 
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Archive 2000/01

[For Love or Money]

(INTRO) Every year AIRC {www.airc.it} sells oranges at the places of umpteen Italian cities. It's a public event supported by radio, TV, and a lot of mailing. Oranges are one of the means to raise funds for the mission of this association, the research against the big C. Thus fundraising is not a clockwork, it requires the ropes on good marketing.

PART ONE - Question: "Who the hell wants to hear the marketer singing AIDA (da, da, da)?".
Solution: AIDA is a popular formula for preparing a customer focused direct communication. The AIDA method has been used in DM programs that want to get response, also and above all by non-profit organizations. The letters are standing for: get Attention, arouse Interest, stimulate Desire, ask for Action.
Attention. Many organizations of consumers, workers, environmenatlists, simple citizens, have adopted some principles and techniques of marketing. The concept of 'not-for-profit marketing' has therefore evolved to qualifying a strategy aimed not to achieve profit but other forms of results as getting ATTENTION toward societal issues or faith movements.
Interest. A Web presence by a non-profit association lies down the basis for feeding confidence, trust and INTEREST in itself. The Web site is going to build a point of reference in forseeing or solving problems --societal, professional, human-- of both the existing members and new followers. Identity and utility affirmation is turned surely over new people, however basically the Web site offers an informative ground for an already built community.
Desire. The involving of a great number of members is the secondary goal of a non-business organization. Most of times the enlargement of the associated base is the only vital way to achieve the association's purposes or to relunch some essential enterprises by the organization. A balance-sheet transparency and a quick communication on actions in progress and fulfilled needs are examples of actual tools in building association belief and confidence, two main plusses to succeed on the fact that new people DESIRE to join and the fundraising goes up.
Action. Hospitals, univeristies, small or local governments, churches, aid programs, etc., have adopted the principle —typically seen as marketing— of the customer loyalty. Many associations hire people in charge of non-profit marketing (and Web site too). In this case they are dealing with members and protégés as real customers. They are substituting the profit objective with some other forms of target, such as the achievement of ACTION for supporting a social or environmental project.

PART TWO - Let's see which websites are familiar with the requirements of a non-profit organization. In other terms a little or no experience in the non-profit world may frustrate any good project to start a public charity or private fundation. Experts exist also on this sector.
www.guidestar.org offers a database of more than 700,000 non-profit organizations, a glossary on economic terms to manage and measure their financial status. Its mission is "to revoluzionize philantropy and nonprofit practice with information". The website is reach on reports and guidelines for judging and choosing the right organization to support.
www.npwj.org is the Internet location for No Peace Whitout Justice, the International Committee of parliamentarians, mayors and citizens for the establishment of an effective system of international justice and of the International Criminal Court. Active since 1997 the website is made of 70Mb; the domain was registered in 2000. it adopts English as main language plus updates in french, Spanish and Italian. (Special thanks to the NPWJ webmaster for the official figures).
www.ama.org represents online the American Marketing Association. The website is a platform for marketing professionals where they can become members to enter the club with all the benefits and services supplied through the association program. Membership dues amounted to 155 US$ as first year. Enrollment form, memberhsip application, terms and code of ethics are available for all that get connected to the AMA site.
www.avventisti.org is the web address of the 7th-Day Adventist Church, that is presenting its religious values and initiatives to the Net community.
www.emergency.it is the official private association, whose activities are aimed to help the civilian war victims. Website began 1995/96 and now it counts 44,000 Kb, about 1,000 visitors per month and 10,000 subscribers to the newsletter --not a regular one. This is maybe the Italian best known charity thanks to a lot of initiatives, from merchandise sales to event sponsorship and direct marketing. Sport and pop music stars get involved personally helping to get donors to partecipate (Special thanks to the Emergency webmaster for the official figures).


PART THREE - On July 20, Usa Today published a recent survey on the non-profits named by sports figures in the USA. I kept from it some excerpts for you as final remark of this review.
  • 2/3 of the non-profits registered generate less than $25,000 in annual gross income. They are 1/4 only if we refer to sports stars organizations.
  • Two are the plusses to make a charity successful when it starts: fame and money. A sport star meets surely those characteristics.
  • Sport celebrity involved in sponsor event or dinner is the most effective way to raise money for a good cause and generate attention to a charity.
  • The largest sport celebrity organization is Andre Agassi's Grand Slam for Children with an annual revenue of over $5.4 million.
  • More than 1/3 of the surveyed charities sponsor events as fundraisers, most with sport stars (tennis, golf, basket pros) or dinners with memorabilia auctions.
  • Summer is the best season to stage events with sport stars as special guests.
  • Events may result very expensive to organize. So a charity could spend 80-90% of the raised contributions.
  • The most interesting statistic for public charities is the ratio between allocations for charitable works and management overhead plus fundraising, that should match the 60/40 guideline. A method to control the good results of such a non-profit experience!

(OUTRO) Fighting the apocalypses on this planet is often a never ending work. White dressed disciples follow their idea of fun, being a gang born to scatter pain and violence ("A Clockwork Orange" by Stanley Kubrik, 1971). The society is responsible for that? When the leaders don't act in due time, a Dr. Strangelove moves and takes the pawn... —Let someone else blow your mind... do you know Lolita? 

©2001 Roberto Dondi-DMLRdotORG
Part I [07/99] - Parts II/III [08/01]
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