FYI Blog

And the Oscar Goes to…

oscars 2016 - CROPPED

It’s awards season!

With the Academy Awards — my favorite! — coming up on February 28, the season is in full swing.

The Oscars honor the best of Hollywood, with nominated films that demonstrate the most creative and engaging ways to tell a story. That thought got me dreaming up ideas for the Multi-Channel Marketing Oscars — best practices to help you bring home a golden statue for your nonprofit.

And the winners are…

Good writing is as fundamental to fundraising success as it is to a film’s. The importance of storytelling to framing a compelling case for support cannot be overstated. The Best Original Screenplay goes to the creative talents who dream up new ideas for appeals and donor acquisitions that attract ongoing and new support. These narratives often use a mission-based approach, educating donors on how their support can make a difference. And Best Adapted Screenplay goes to those innovative renewals and reinstatement workhorses that encourage donors to stay involved and keep giving.

Next, you need to make your story pop. The award for Best Production Design goes to those winning visuals for multi-channel campaigns — the images and designs that get you to open the envelope or click through an email.

But it’s not enough to have a flashy product. You also need Best Cinematography — an overall concept that conveys your message, tone, and goals across channels; that resonates with the recipient; and that brings cohesion to your multi-channel campaign.

Best Editing symbolizes one of the most critical aspects of fundraising: how to bring together the jumble of moving parts (strategy, creative, list/segmentation, etc.) into a multi-channel campaign that forms a seamless case for support that informs, educates — and compels people to give.

The Science & Technical Awards characterize less glamourous — but essential — behind-the-scenes work to keep the production process on track. This encompasses timing, quality control, and review/approvals from key stakeholders.

The Best Documentary Feature, often about a unique subject, sheds light on a problem and ways to fix it. In the world of multi-channel marketing, this award goes to the rigorous testing protocols that help us learn what matters most to donors/prospects.

In our industry, Best Animated Short Film translates to the small touchpoints that can have a major impact on the overall performance — like cultivation campaigns, welcome kits, follow-up calls or emails, and gift acknowledgements.

The Best Original Score infuses every moment of a film — just as the list selection, segmentation, and modeling that inform our creative and strategy are crucial to every marketing effort and come together to make our fundraising campaigns sing.

A great campaign often includes more than just one dynamic performer. Best Supporting Actor/Actress represents that extra something that makes the difference between your campaign’s success or its failure. Not the star, perhaps, but a persuasive lift note, insert, or email follow-up that steals the show and boosts results.

Best Actor/Actress in a Leading Role is your best letter-signer — the name that can make or break a fundraising package’s success. Test your options!

And let’s not forget the importance of Ernst & Young and its vote tabulations! These are the analytics that underpin all of our campaigns — not always the results we want to hear, but the plain truth that informs what we do next.

Bringing it all together, the Best Director is the person at the helm who sees the big picture and pays attention to the details while keeping everyone on task and on schedule. Without that oversight, your movie (or package) would never get released.

Which brings us to the biggest award of the season: Best Picture. Here everything synchronizes beautifully to create a blockbuster acquisition control package, or a successful appeal, or a dynamo renewal series that performs year after year.

Armed with these best practices, roll out your own Red Carpet, dress to the nines, and get ready to strut your stuff — show the world what your organization can do!