Direct response TV lessons
Historically, the most consistently successful nonprofit fundraisers using DRTV have been the child sponsor agencies — Save the Children, Worldvision, Christian Children’s Fund, etc.* Their campaigns effectively married strong emotional visuals and case statements with the sound ROI economics of monthly giving.I’ve always thought that animal welfare and protection organizations would be another logical candidate for this medium. Clearly the emotional content would be ample. The bigger challenge would be crafting a programmatic “call to action” that supported a monthly gift.This recent DMNews article reviews the status of DRTV, with a very informative focus on the ASPCA and its masterful use of the medium.In the online era, DRTV can offer multiple impulse response options, not just 1-800 numbers. But with that convenience comes greater complexity in tracking campaigns and measuring ROIs. This is not easy stuff.At the same time, the internet provides more access opportunities for more organizations to experiment with video direct response. For one thing, the “gatekeeper” problem that kept advocacy groups and associated controversial messages off television doesn’t exist online … plus the “inventory” — always a limiting problem given television’s finite shelf space — is limitless online.For any nonprofit contemplating video appeals, either online or on conventional TV, this article will be helpful.Tom*I’m referring here to ongoing fundraising campaigns. TV-based “disaster” fundraising is obviously also successful and capitalizes on online donation capture, but these are “one-off” campaigns driven by extensive free media exposure … a different kettle of fish.