MAXI-Blog-Team

CCAH Brings Home Three MAXI Awards!

CCAH is thrilled to announce that our work for two of our prestigious clients was honored with two silver awards, in the acquisition and special appeal categories, and one gold award, in the major donor category, at the 2022 MAXI Awards on July 27, 2022 by the Direct Marketing Association of Washington (DMAW). 

HSUS Animal Lover's Calendar + Planner Test

We scored two wins for our collaboration with the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) — the nation’s most effective animal protection organization, advancing the fight for ALL animals. In the category Direct Mail Campaign: Acquisition/Prospecting, our Animal Lover’s Calendar + Day Planner Test for the Humane Society of the United States won a Silver MAXI and shattered industry acquisition benchmarks with a response rate of 1.85%. 

HSUS YTD Package

Also for HSUS, in the Nonprofit Major Donors category, our Agenda YTD Package won a Gold MAXI, nearly tripled the response rate, and the 2021 package brought in more gross and net revenue than the previous two years’ packages combined.  

JGI "One Person Can" Matching Gift Campaign

Our third winning package was created for The Jane Goodall Institute (JGI), which advances the vision of Dr. Jane Goodall to create a brighter future for chimpanzees and all beings who share the planet. Our multi-channel appeal called “One Person Can” Jane’s Birthday Matching Gift Campaign won a Silver MAXI, and this campaign’s cumulative 2021 results for direct mail and email saw an incredible increase of 96% in overall response rate and a 12% increase in income compared to 2020.  

I hope you will visit the DMAW’s 2022 MAXI Awards Program Book and take a look at our creative designs and copy that helped to generate these remarkable results.  We’re so proud of our work and our team, and grateful for these industry honors. But of course, the real winners are our clients, who inspire everything we do through their dedicated, tireless, and compassionate work every day to fulfill their critical missions. 

What do Marilu Henner, Ryan Zimmerman and the CCAH team have in common?

If you guessed that we will all be at the 2022 Changemakers Unite Bridge Conference at the Gaylord National Hotel & Conference Center happening between July 27 and 29… You’re right!

To celebrate returning to in person conferences and our new partnership with MissionWired, CCAH will have a booth in the Changemakers Unite Exhibit Hall. Please come by booth 113 and see us!

In addition, you can see Mia Mack of CCAH and Sarah Raffurty of the International African American Museum for their session at 8:15am on Thursday. They’ll share the rare experience of building a diverse museum membership program from the ground up (literally and figuratively). Sarah and Mia will share strategies, tips, tricks and challenges they overcame to create a national, omnichannel direct response program with tens of thousands of newly acquired members generating millions of dollars in less than a year. From budgeting with minimal data, to new audience acquisition and messaging, to omnichannel fundraising, marketing and branding integration, attendees will come away with best practices and new insights to test out.

Then don’t miss Brenna Holmes (CCAH), Jennifer Ingram (Wiland) and Jen Walsh (WJC) presenting at 4pm on Thursday about successful Omni-Channel campaigns with co-op data. If how to meet your fundraising goals in light of privacy changes with iOS and the depreciation of third-party cookies has you losing sleep at night, don’t panic! First party data from cooperative databases can expand your fundraising beyond the mailbox into display, social, email, P2P and connected TV. It can also help diversify your donor file by finding new audiences you haven’t found before. They will share how WJC and other clients went from fundraising in different channels to a truly omnichannel, donor-centric program that increased revenue for ALL channels.

CCAH will have many staff attending the conference, and we are all excited to reconnect with our industry partners and share the new techniques and innovations we’ve been working on. Find us in various sessions and at Booth 113 in the Changemakers Unite Exhibit Hall throughout the conference.
US Capitol Building in spring of 2021 with metal security fence

Trump’s Fundraising Rip-off Is Bad for All of Us

In the recent House hearings about the January 6 coup attempt, the media seemed shocked by the revelation that the GOP raised $250 million after the 2020 election for an “Official Election Defense Fund” that did not exist. Their solicitations were filled with questionable tactics and a large chunk of the resulting contributions was apparently misdirected to Trump’s hotels, and to the side projects of his friends and staff.

While this was treated as a shock by the media, it is no surprise to those of us who have monitored Republican fundraising efforts over the years. My office is filled with GOP solicitations dating back decades, and many utilize highly unethical and manipulative tactics that the Democratic Party would never, ever consider.

One of my favorites (and by favorite, I mean most outrageous) is a Republican National Committee (RNC) solicitation sent many years ago that involved two mail pieces. The first solicitation is standard and not unlike those sent by the Democratic Party … it is signed by the RNC chairman and includes a membership card and request for funds. However, the second follow-up solicitation is the most underhanded and unethical direct mail piece I’ve seen in my 37-year career.

This letter is signed by a female RNC staff member. It begins by saying, “This is one of the hardest letters I’ve ever had to write.” The signer then explains that she had been directly instructed by the party chairman to add the words “Charter Member” to the recipient’s previously mailed membership card, but she screwed up and failed to do so, and implies her job may be in trouble. “I cannot tell you how sorry I am. And I wanted you to know right away that it was my mistake …” She goes on to say that one way or the other, she must reach her fundraising goal. “I know you must be very disappointed in me for making this mistake. But I hope you see I’m doing everything I can to correct it. And I pray you’ll help me out …” And, as if this were not bad enough, she goes on to tell the recipient that she’s a single mother who’s afraid she may not be able to provide for her daughter.

I cannot imagine a more manipulative piece of fundraising copy. A struggling, god-fearing, single mother may lose her job if you do not respond today. This letter is even more outrageous when you consider the Republican Party’s horrific war upon women’s rights … they are actually using their own suppression of women as a selling point and sympathy generator. This letter was written many years ago, but the unscrupulous tactics continue today. Trump’s solicitations for his supposed “Election Defense Fund” were also based on lies and devious tactics calculated to generate an emotional response and contributions from easily misled conservative supporters.

While Democrats like me may laugh about the wasted expenditure of funds by these Republican donors … after all, that’s a quarter-of-a-billion dollars of GOP money down the drain that will not be spent to defeat Democrats … this episode is still very bad for every other entity that struggles to raise money for their cause. Scandals like this make potential donors of every stripe more cynical about fundraising. Over the years, I’ve watched donors become more cynical about the legitimacy of fundraising efforts, probably due to the multitude of scandals over the decades. In the late 1980’s, it was misspending of assets by the United Way. More recently, it was the misuse of funds raised in the aftermath of 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina. And today, it’s Trump’s fake “Election Defense Fund.” All these incidents make it more difficult for all of us to raise money for our causes. Today, we must expend much more effort to prove the legitimacy of our clients’ efforts than we did when I first started my fundraising career almost four decades ago.

So … not only should someone throw the book at Trump concerning his efforts to sabotage our constitution and overthrow our form of government, but I also hope that the appropriate authorities act to fully investigate these allegedly fraudulent fundraising efforts.

Exterior-Waterfront-2

Building a Membership Program From the Ground Up

CCAH is thrilled to partner with the International African American Museum in Charleston, South Carolina, as they prepare to open their doors to the world later this year.  

Our work with IAAM began in earnest in August 2020. At the time, the nation was engaged in a deep moment of reckoning over the continuing damage of systemic racism. This was a critical time for the museum to use their voice, to bring people across the nation into their mission of honoring the untold stories from the African American journey, and to build a community of members and supporters. 

It was the right time for the museum to speak to the nation, but we faced some technical challenges.

At CCAH, we know that it’s rare for an organization to have the right systems in place from day one. Smart nonprofits are always reassessing and shifting their goals and needs, as well as the systems they use to manage their daily work.  

As a relatively new nonprofit, IAAM is building their organization and systems while simultaneously building the transformational museum space at their heart of their mission. When we began to work together, we found that IAAM was using one system for their CRM and another for email communications – and the systems didn’t talk to each other.  

This meant that we were faced with the prospect of duplicate records, two of every campaign, and unclear data that would keep us from the success that we knew was possible. 

Enter EveryAction and Raise HECK.

Working closely with Raise HECK, we migrated the museum’s existing systems onto EveryAction’s omnichannel platform, which put us in a position to run and report campaigns the way IAAM needs to in order to maximize their revenue.  

EveryAction provides the kind of robust, real-time data that our team depends on to shape strategy and deliver the best possible performance for clients like IAAM.  

And we’re deeply proud of the success we’ve achieved together, building a growing national membership base for a museum that still has yet to open! 

The results from our initial campaign period are truly astounding:  

  • We grew the Museum’s email list by 160%+ in high value prospects 
  • We grew the Museum’s membership list by 300%+ 
  • We achieved 216% Return on Ad Spend 
  • We brought down the ad cost of converting a new member from $35 to just $10 

Thanks to EveryAction’s comprehensive reporting and integration, we have the data we need to drive our strategy through to the IAAM’s Opening Day and beyond. And the museum has a committed community of members and supporters who will propel their work for years to come.