September 11- A Reflection and a Way Forward!
9 September 2002 at 1:09 pm
The first anniversary of the September 11 tragedy is a time to remember, a time to reflect on and assess its implications and also a time to find a way forward.
Not for Profits worldwide have been touched in one way or another through sad losses, fundraising for those affected, struggling because funds have been diverted from their cause to the 9/11 effort as well as the implications for future fundraising.
One US organisation has investigated these implications.
Phyllis Freedman, is a Senior Vice President of Epsilon a direct-marketing company specialising in the Not for Profit believes the events of September 2001, rather than being the defining moment for charities, was a “wake up call” signalling a fundamental transformation of a sector that was well under way before last September 2001.
Epsilon conducted a survey to determine how Not for Profit organisations changed their mail strategies to respond to the 9/11 events. The survey polled fundraising executives and the agencies that serve them.
The sample group consisted of members of the list-serve of the Direct Marketing Association of Washington, Epsilon’s clients; and Bid to Print an online print buying marketplace for Not for Profit direct marketers. A majority of respondents indicated they made significant but temporary adjustments after September 11:
85 percent maintained volumes
75 percent changed copy
99 percent added inserts
75 percent changed blind outer to identify themselves
25 percent changed handwriting to typewritten fonts
Only two organisations back-tested changes
25 percent added another mailing
75 percent eliminated test panels
0 percent have made permanent change
Freedman says however, at least one organisation that back-tested these changes found that the changes actually hurt revenue! In other words, maintaining tried-and-true techniques, in spite of unique circumstances, may be the best approach.
Other key findings include:
Most fundraising performance trends from 2000 to 2001 were not significantly worse after 9/11 than before.
Revenue stability came from the most loyal donor groups.
Membership-oriented organisations suffered more than donor-based organisations.
New donor acquisition remains below the high-water mark set in 1999 for most organisations.
So while the business of raising funds continues heres an interesting concept that looks to the future of remembering and giving! A campaign that could take off worldwide! It’s called ‘The One Day’s Pay’ campaign.
It promotes a simple idea of gathering voluntary pledges from people throughout the world who are willing to set aside all or a portion of September 11 for community service in honour of those who lost their lives as a result of the events that happened that day.
The One Day’s Pay goal is to keep the spirit of service alive forever by making September 11 an international day of voluntary service to the community.
Individuals decide what each wants the One Day’s Pay to be. You can donate money to a charity. You can volunteer your time. You can give food to someone who is homeless or go grocery shopping for an elderly neighbour.
If you’re a business owner, you can organise an on-site blood donation, a food or toy drive, or grant employees extra paid time off to work in the community. There are literally thousands of things you can do.
Individuals can use the web site to make a pledge in a simple good faith, non-binding statement of intention to do something you care about on or around September 11. That’s it.
One Day’s Pay, founded as a Not for Profit organisation by a group of US colleagues in the public relations and marketing industry and other friends.
It is dedicated to Mark Bingham, a public relations executive from New York who died on September 11 on United Airlines Flight #93, which crashed in Pennsylvania. Mark, along with Todd Beamer, Thomas Burnett, Jeremy Glick and other passengers are believed to have prevented terrorists from striking targets that may have included Camp David.
The charity honours his memory and the memories of all the other victims of the September 11 tragedies by pledging to permanently set aside time each September 11 to help others in need through community service or other giving activities of our choice.
Check out the charity and some of the helpful hints to set up a local campaign at www.onedayspay.org.