Friday, December 23, 2005

Responding Quickly to Opportunities

The Today show yesterday announced that they were going to auction off their green room book to benefit a charity.

We saw this as an opportunity to touch base with our constituents, wish them a happy new year and to give them a chance to get on the Today show. The only problem was, we had less than 8 hours to collect our thoughts, refine our lists and create an appropriate message.

We were worried about being perceived as sending spam most of all. With that in mind, we decided in the end that as long as we were pulling names from folks that had opt-ed into our various communications channels that the combination of well wishes and letting folks know they could share their story with NBC to potentially benefit the Society was a good move.

We sent the message at 4 PM EST yesterday hoping that we'd get some sort of positive response...

As I type this blog, it's about 12:30 PM EST and we've gotten a decent open rate (>11%) and had more than 1,700 folks click through to check out the Today Show page...

Our message tried to balance the holidays with a sense of urgency. Here's what we came up with:

Subject Line:

Help LLS get on The Today Show


The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society sends its warmest wishes to you and your family this holiday season.

Over the years, the Society has touched the lives of many people. We've heard and seen your incredible stories of courage and determination.

Right now, these very stories can help the Society continue its mission.

We are letting our readers know about a wonderful opportunity sponsored by NBC's Today Show that helps charities. It's very easy to participate, simply go to "Help choose a charity for our Green Room book" page hosted on MSN and write a personal story about how the Society has touched your life and why the Society should be selected by Today. The winning charity will receive a large cash prize and an appearance on the Today Show.

This is a perfect opportunity to tell your story and help the Society. You must act fast. The deadline for entries December 23, 2005, 5p.m. est.

So far so good.. a minimal amount of spam complaints, lots of clicks and hopefully, a chance to be the charity of choice for the auction this year. I'll update this posting if anything major changes or if we end up being NBC's charity of choice. Otherwise, I think that this is a good example of a non-profit reacting quickly (and appropriately) to a wonderful opportunity.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005


Seth Godin's latest is a site called Squidoo - there are a few interesting things here - aside from the concept of creating very a focused "lens" on any topic you like (fundraising, mission, donors etc...), you can actually generate funds for your non-profit (eventually) by integrating "money making" widgets like book selections from and Google ads. Right now, Squidoo is an interesting experiment.

Check out my non-profit marketing lens for more.