Tuesday, October 30

Funky fundraising failures

From Fundraising Success Magazine:

Jon Duschinsky is the director of Ressources non profit, a fundraising consultancy based in Boulogne-Billancourt, France. At the 27th International Fundraising Congress, which took place in the Netherlands last week, he presented a session titled Funky Fundraising Failures, in which fundraisers from around the world talked about their professional non-successes.
To read the entire article, go here.

Merkle loses its domain

Michael Mathias, Senior Vice President & Group Leader, at MerkleDomain sent out an email earlier today saying:

Now that we have completed a very successful and smooth transition between Merkle and the former Domain agency, MerkleDomain will now officially be known simply as Merkle.
No word yet on whether Jeff Brooks will follow suit and ask readers of Donor Power Blog to simply call him Jeff from now on.

Monday, October 29

$714 million raised by road runners and walkers

Marking a trend of continued growth, road runners and walkers raised $714 million for charity in 2006, USA Track & Field (USATF) announced Monday. The figure marks a nearly 9 percent increase over 2005 and shows continued, steady increases since USATF began its annual charity survey in 2002.

USATF highlights a Charitable Race of the Year. Here are the winners for the past several years: 2006, Nike Women's Marathon; 2005, J.P. Morgan Chase Corporate Challenge Series; 2004, Rock & Roll Marathon; 2003, Marine Corps Marathon; 2002, Boston Marathon

The USATF also awards a Charitable Organization of the Year. The past winners include: 2006, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation; 2005, Arthritis Foundation; 2004, American Heart Association Heart Walk; 2003, Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation Race for the Cure; 2002, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Team in Training

Finally, if you're interested in the previous annual totals since the USATF began tracking totals: 2006, $714 million; 2005, $656 million; 2004, $575 million; 2003, $560 million; 2002, $520 million.

Fires impact San Diego fundraisers

The 14th annual San Diego Triathlon Challenge, which was scheduled for yesterday, was canceled because of the wild fires.

The event is the primary fundraiser for the local Challenged Athletes Foundation, which provides wheelchairs, prosthetics, coaching and travel expenses to the physically challenged. The half-Ironman distance relay raised nearly $12 million the first 13 years, including more than $1 million last year.

Another major CAF fundraiser, the Qualcomm Million Dollar Challenge bike ride from San Francisco to San Diego, was cut short last Tuesday near Santa Barbara as the cyclists entered fire-ravaged Southern California.

Thursday, October 25

Charity galas are great advertisement for shopping center

Outside of Tucson, Arizona is an upscale shopping center called La Encantada.

Throughout the year, La Encantada features events such as a simulated snowfall during the Christmas season, a culinary showcase in the summer and a performing-arts festival in November featuring such groups as the Tucson Boys' Chorus and the Tucson Guitar Society.

But marketing director Linda Shalit thinks she has found a way to entice people who would otherwise think the center is too high-end for their bank accounts.

Charity fundraising events.

La Encantada waives site rental fees for non-profit organizations looking to sponsor an event there and as a result, 11 charities used the space last year - raising over $500,000 for local nonprofits.

Sounds like a win-win to me.

Wednesday, October 24

Mistrial declared in Islamic charity trial

In 2001, the Bush administration designated the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development a terrorist sponsor. Once the largest Muslim charity in the country, the organization had its assets frozen and later seized by the government.

However, on Tuesday a mistrial was declared for the terrorist financing charges stemming from fundraising allegations. Emma Schwartz at the U.S. News and World Report questions the impact this mistrial will have against other Muslim charities:

What the mistrial means for the future of terrorist financing cases is still unclear. The government has a handful of pending investigations. It has frozen assets of a few Michigan-based Muslim charities. It has raided several Virginia-based Muslim charities. And in March, it indicted the Islamic American Relief Agency for sending money to Iraq during the 1990s, when the country was under sanctions.
Other Muslim charities and religious leaders called the verdict a relief.

Reading this story made me think of a related article I saw a couple weeks ago and forgot to mention on this blog. I've been surprised more fundraisers haven't blogged or talked about the quandary many Muslims found themselves in as they considered how to give zakat, a donation required of Muslims, especially during Ramadan.

Recent heightened scrutiny of Islamic charities by federal officials is running headlong into the determination of Muslims to donate to causes that serve the neediest and to abide by their holy book, the Quran. As fears intensify, community leaders have called on the government to create guidelines for safe contributions.
Go here for more on this subject.

Tuesday, October 23

Trent Stamp on Daily Show

It's been long awaited, but Trent Stamp's video from his Daily Show appearance is now up on Comedy Central's website:


Monday, October 22

UC gets $420 million gift

The University of Cincinnati received a $420.7 million gift thanks to the hard work of two people who see the world very differently.

Sam Anand, mechanical engineering professor at UC's College of Engineering and Brigid O'Kane, an associate design professor in the College of Design, Art, Architecture and Planning, or DAAP, began applying for the donation about two years ago. They submitted a 90-page proposal that focused on the collaboration between the two colleges, which will be the prime benefactors of the donation.
The gift is the largest in the school's history.
The gift of in-kind contributions of cutting-edge computer software, hardware and technology support comes from PACE, or the Partners for the Advancement of Collaborative Engineering Education, a consortium of General Motors, Inc., EDS, Hewlett-Packard Co., Siemens PLM Software and Sun Microsystems, said Greg Hand, UC spokesman.
Chapman-Moore said demonstrating "the great collaboration" between the two colleges was critical to UC being chosen for the donation.

Sunday, October 21

Virgina Tech processes 90,000 gifts since shooting

This blog has previously discussed the fundraising actions taken by Virginia Tech's development office after the campus shooting earlier this year.

I was a little surprised today to see the school has received more than 90,000 gifts of consolation from around the world. The response was so large, the school has its own archive room tagging, photographing, and logging all donations into a database.
The Associated Press reports:

Tech has received items from across the country and around the world, including letters from Argentina and the ambassador of Jamaica, a U.S. Coast Guard buoy with signatures of Tech graduates from Puerto Rico and a jacket with signatures of University of British Columbia engineers from Canada.
Though there have been many proposals for what to do with the -- including a possible museum to house the collection -- no decision has been made.

Friday, October 19

Charity earns $4 million on eBay today

The recent auction on eBay of an original letter by US Senator Harry Reid concerning Rush Limbaugh sold to the highest bidder for over 2 million dollars. Limbaugh has said that he will match the money that the auction raises. So, four million dollars will be going to the designated charity, The Marine Corps - Law Enforcement Foundation.

Giving book not getting attention

It sounds like sales of former president Bill Clinton's book "Giving," have dropped far since its release in early September. The handbook for civic activism was published by Alfred A. Knopf with an announced first printing of 750,000. According to Nielsen BookScan, "Giving" sold nearly 50,000 copies its first week, but hasn't approached that since. For the week ending Oct. 7, only 9,600 copies sold.

Thursday, October 18

Man forced by judge to be PETA donor

Craig Miller is a 43-year old man from Minnesota. He is also one of the newest donors to PETA's membership database.

Miller pleaded guilty on Monday to three charges for illegally baiting and killing a black bear. As a result, a judge ordered him to donate $500 to PETA.

The charges stem from an incident on September 1st when Miller used dog food to bait a bear, then cut the bear's head off, took the fur and left the meat in the field. It seems like leaving the meat to rot is the criminal offense.

The hunter tried to make the kill legal and get a Colorado Department of Wildlife seal that would have allowed taxidermy work on the pelt, but the department investigated and found evidence of the crimes.

When Miller plead guilty, his lawyer probably told him to expect a sentence including probation, loss of hunting privileges and more than $5,000 in fines.

What Miller did not expect was for the judge to force him to make a $500 donation to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).

A couple blogs that cover hunting news have called the judgement "ludicrous."
“We’ve had restitution ordered to our organization in the past,” said PETA spokeswoman Daphna Nachminovitch. “I would not say it’s common. It’s a gesture on the part of the judge to say this bear mattered and that a donation should be made in his memory. Five-hundred dollars isn’t going to make up for the suffering this bear endured.”
The sentence was handed down by retired District Judge Chuck Buss, who was filling in for the vacationing Judge James Boyd.

Since the money is going into the general fund, I bet Miller will show up in PETA's next annual report... and if he thinks the court's mandatory donation is tough, just wait until the organization tries to track him down for that renewal gift.

AFP expands ethical code

This hit the wires yesterday:

The Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) has expanded its Code of Ethical Principles and Standards of Professional Practice, the only enforced ethical code for fundraisers in the world, to apply to for-profit businesses involved in fundraising.

The changes, which include the addition of seven new standards and the alteration of one standard, now allows for-profit businesses to join AFP as members and actively promote ethical and efficient fundraising.

AFP has traditionally been an individual-based membership association and represents more than 29,000 charitable fundraisers around the world. However, the tremendous growth of fundraising has led to the creation of numerous for- profit businesses working in the charitable sector, making it imperative for ethical standards to be promulgated beyond just those individuals who directly raise funds.
When I asked a couple friends last night what impact they felt this change would make... the first reaction I got was, "well... this should make it easier for AFP to grow their membership rolls for sure!"

You can go here to see seven of the new standards.

Wednesday, October 17

Baby Jessica's $1 million trust fund

Twenty years ago, an 18-month old girl named Jessica McClure captured the nation's attention when she was trapped in a well behind her parents Texas home.

Sympathetic viewers were glued to their televisions as "Baby Jessica" was rescued after a 2 1/2 days. Strangers showered the family with teddy bears, homemade gifts, cards and cash. The money was placed in a trust fund which Jessica is to receive when she turns 25.

An Associated Press article today reports that Jessica is leading a quiet existence today - however that might all change in 3 1/2 years when all the donations sent to her when she was a baby mature into a payment of $1 million or more.

I found an article from 1997 on the ten year anniversary of the rescue - and it looks like the trust fund was valued at $1 million even then - so isn't it possible the money has significantly appreciated since then?

The story made me wonder, "Why was a trust fund set up?"

Her parents, Chip and Cissy McClure, have been described as poor teen-agers in 1987 struggling to make ends meet during the depths of the oil bust.

The McClures were also criticized for quickly spending at least $80,000 of the money sent to them. Much of it went toward a failed business. They divorced in 1990.
So, I guess well wishing donors wanted to make sure the money actually got to Jessica, but setting up a trust fund that matures when she hits 25 seems to miss the point of donor intent.

Either way, if you sent money to Baby Jessica, rest assured knowing that in a little over 42 months from now, that money will reach its intended target.

Finally got my RSS feed fixed

A special thank you to one of my favorite readers who contacted "a fundraiser" at donttellthedonor@gmail.com to let me know that my RSS subject lines were broken. You should see a change in the way DTTD stories appear from now on. We'll be sending out a special Don't Tell the Donor mug this lucky reader... but the offer goes for anyone else who contacts us about a broken link (or typo) on the website.

Tuesday, October 16

Convio practices what they preach

What's more impressive - that Convio is announcing their own Open API today OR that they reached out to fundraising bloggers last week and gave them advanced notice that an announcement was coming?

Word first leaked out on A View from Home yesterday afternoon. Beth Kantor read the post and shared that she too had been tipped in advance:

I received an embargoed press release in my email about Convio's Open Initiative. Blogger's angst. Do you post first and scoop all? Have to be pretty confident about your opinion. Or do you sit back and read what others are saying and add to the conversation? I tend to do the latter if I'm jet lagged. I tend to the former if I've had lots of sleep, know a lot about the topic, and a strong reaction.
Within hours, blogs like Zen and the Art of Nonprofit Technology, the NTEN blog, Acceleration Agent, and the Nonprofit Matrix were all lighting up Technorati with posts about Convio's Open Initiative.

If it's true that Convio has, seemingly, gotten some serious Web 2.0 religion... what better way to prove it than to create buzz on the network of nonprofit fundraising blogs in a coordinated fashion. At least they practice what they preach.

The coordination with bloggers not only gave Convio widespread coverage, it also allowed them better control of the message. While Kintera might have been beaten them to the announcement, Convio is stressing some significant differences in the product.

The Convio Open Initiative is a combination of applications, integration tools, APIs (application programming interfaces) and partnerships. It is more than just APIs, but extensions and "database connectors." In the end, it will come down to execution... and at least for now, it appears Convio's approach is more focused on an outward, community approach.

One of the first products launched as part of Convio Open is a client-ready Facebook application that will help nonprofits leverage the personal networks of Facebook’s 40M+ subscribers to virally market on behalf of organizations they support, providing nonprofits with a major channel for new supporter acquisition. The extension will allow organizations to present personalized content to Facebook users, who can complete actions on behalf of an organization without leaving the Facebook site. Organizations can track both activities they facilitate and the origin of any new supporter from Facebook.. This data is stored in the organization’s Convio online constituent relationship management (eCRM) system. The application is available to users in on a limited basis in beta format at http://open.convio.com/.
The folks in Austin will be demonstrating Convio APIs at the Annual Convio Client Summit on Thursday. The changes should allow integration between Convio and custom Web applications, extensions that allow integration with open platforms such as Facebook, Flickr and Plaxo, and database connectors for popular donor/constituent databases such as Salesforce.com.

We'd love to hear feedback from users of both systems.

Monday, October 15

Giulani gives back $9.11 and $911 donations

I gave the Giuliani campaign a hard time when I read that a fundraiser was soliciting checks for $9.11 on his behalf. Despite the fact that the campaign blamed it on "young people," I thought it was a tasteless politicization of a national tragedy.

Late today the Wall Street Journal published a report that the campaign is actively returning eight checks to individual donors for $9.11, and one returned contribution of $911.

Donors received a letter with their returned donations stating, “Unfortunately we must return your contribution. We do not solicit or collect financial support that is indicative of the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.” It was signed by Giuliani campaign treasurer John Gross.

Lucy's reaction to the DonorsChoose Blogger Challenge

From Lucy Berholz's Philanthropy 2173 blog:

A month or so back I was asked to participate in the Bloggers Challenge to raise funds for DonorsChoose. Abiding by my own ethics (as well as those emerging in the blog-world), I opted not to do this. Because I write about philanthropy and nonprofits and technology I don't want to opt in to raise funds for some and not for all. But I will bring the whole thing to your attention, as it is an example of the kind of fundraising and use of technology for giving going on all around organized philanthropy - and rarely - if ever- touching foundations.

First - DonorsChoose (DC) lets individual donors and individual classroom teachers connect to make certain charitable projects happen. Teachers post their wish lists, donors pick the ones they want to fund, donorschoose vets and handles funds transfers, teachers report back, donors go away happey (and - hopefully) donors come back.

Here is how the bloggers challenge works: DC reached out to bloggers with several challenges. Bloggers who encouraged, cajoled, begged, arm-twisted, or otherwise convinced their readers to make charitable donations through DC would be entered into one of several competitions and those who were most successful would be duly rewarded. There is a Google Award for the blogger who sparks the most donations (dollar value); the Yahoo! Award, which includes lunch with CEO Jerry Yang as a prize, for the blogger who gets the most donors involved, the Six Apart Award for the blogger whose activism unleashes help that reaches the greatest number of students, and the Federated Media Award for the "most creative
" offered by a blogger.

By my count, as of October 9, there were 102 blogs that had launched challenges to their readers. These include the blogs of several candidates for President (Mitt Romney, Barack Obama, and Jon Stewart/Steven Colbert!?), many tech writers and venture capitalists (Scobleizer, TechCrunch, Fred Wilson), a variety of science and math education supporters (Thus Spake Zuska, Evolgen), several local school supporters (El Paso, San Francisco) and at least one bellydancer.

According to the Leaderboard and my very rough counting, the 100+ blogs have raised well north of $150,000 from somewhere around 1200 individual donors and the dollars will reach classrooms serving at least 20,000 public school children. The leading blog -Tomato Nation - has raised $75000 in ten days. And the challenges continue until October 31, 2007.
You can read her entire post here.

Friday, October 12

The women behind Obama's money machine

In case you missed it, the Washington Post had a neat story earlier this week profiling the role that Julianna Smoot played in helping raise the $75 million Barrack Obama has raised so far in the campaign. If you read deep enough, it goes past the role played by bundlers and looks at the work done by Meaghan Burdick, the thirty-one year old who coordinated fundraising online and through the mail.

Kintera goes to Open API

If you were impressed when you heard Wednesday's announcement that Sesame Workshop selected Kintera technology to expand the organization's online fundraising presence, wait until you hear this...

This morning, the company announced that Kintera Connect, the company's open application integration platform, is available for clients and partners to integrate directly with Kintera technology.

The loyal reader who tipped me off explains it this way: "it means that they are opening up their platform so you can connect with it from other applications. It's a big step because it means that you can develop your own applications and the data can still be fed through their systems"

You have to wonder if Convio will be pressured to announce the same thing at their conference in Austin next week... albeit with a lot less fanfare now that Kintera beat them to it.

Dodd offers refunds after fundraising gimmick goes awry

It appears one of the most creative presidential fundraising ideas of the campaign has taken a terrible (not to mention embarrassing) turn for the worse.

Earlier this week Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT) announced he was going to randomly select a donor to join him at an upcoming Boston Red Sox playoff game.

Unfortunately, it appears no one on the campaign's fundraising team checked with Major League Baseball to see if this gimmick was even legal. Just minutes ago, donors received this email:

We have some bad news.Major League Baseball has asked the campaign to end our contest you entered to get a chance to go to a Red Sox game with Chris Dodd.Apparently, Post-Season tickets are different than regular season tickets -- they are owned by the League and the MLB has their rules. If you made a contribution hoping to win the tickets, we want to provide you the opportunity to get a refund for your entry.If you wish to be refunded, reply to this email asking for a return of your donation and we'll make it happen. If you choose to not to have your contribution refunded, please know that your support will go towards our media and ground campaigns in Iowa and New Hampshire, while fighting to restore the Constitution and end the war in Iraq. Once again, we apologize for our error.Sincerely,The team at Chris Dodd for President
Talk about embarrassing... this email is the definition of the kind of thing fundraisers don't want to have to tell their donors.

UPDATE: Ben Smith at the Politico has more:
Major League Baseball scuttled the plan, Dodd spokesman Hari Sevugan confirms. They'll be offering refunds to contributors who were in it for the baseball, rather than for the face time with Dodd.

"This isn't quite Bucky Dent or Aaron Boone, but we are disappointed nonetheless. Senator Dodd was looking forward to spending a night watching the Red Sox take on the Indians at Fenway Park, but unfortunately Major League Baseball's rules are such that the contest cannot continue. We will still be cheering on the Red Sox every step of the way to the World Series, and look forward to inviting someone to spend a day on the trail with Chris Dodd," Sevugan said in an email.
Isn't quite Bucky Dent? They are right about that... it's more like those Nigerian scammers who tried to swindle me into buying a fake computer on eBay.

Raising money for recipients that don't exist

Everyday I receive no less than 50 news stories emailed to donttellthedonor@gmail.com based on keywords I've set-up, such as: fundraising, donation, development office, charity giving, philanthropy, and nonprofit gossip.

All too often one of these stories is about thieves stealing a donation jar from the counter of a convenience store. Unfortunately, the thefts don't usually rise to the high standards of news we have here on this blog, which is why I loved Trent Stamp's take on one of these stories a couple weeks ago.

But even a cynical jerk like myself was shocked by this bastard who collected $2,000 by placing collection boxes for a patient who didn't exist in 27 California cities saying a family needed help after their son died from orthopedic bone cancer.

...then again, wasn't the Bush-Clinton Katrina Fund accused of also raising funds for churches that may not have even existed? They may have done so without knowing it, but you can't say they weren't warned.

Thursday, October 11

Lucy follows the money

I have to admit, when I read Lucy Bernholz's Philanthropy 2173 blog, it can be pretty dense reading and I don't always understand everything she is saying.

But yesterday, she made a point (on one of her favorite topics) that was so clear, it stopped me cold in my online surfing tracks. While trying to answer the sources of funds for public benefit and social good, she makes this observation:

Compare the $295 billion in overall giving in the US in 2006 (Giving USA) to the $2.29 trillion held in accounts managed in accordance with socially responsible practices. Hmm. Suddenly the first number doesn't seem so big anymore.

And the $2.29 trillion is only part of the story. And the value of fair trade. There is $180 million managed by community development venture funds. And $2 billion in foundation mission-related investments (which will grow to $12 billion, if the Meyer, Heron, and Casey Foundations are successful in their recent challenge). And carbon markets. And microfinance investments....

Another way to put the numbers in perspective is to imagine that 40 foundations made a half billion dollars worth of grants to the environment one year. That would be big news. Well, according to VentureOne/PWCMoneyTree, the total value of venture capital deals in Clean Tech (alternative energy, pollution and recycling, power supplies and conservation) was $451 million in Q2 2007. Nearly half a billion dollars in one quarter.
As a nonprofit fundraiser, my first reaction was to think that there is a difference between donors who give money with the sole expectation that society will benefit and socially responsible investors who are looking to increase the public good AND earn a return on their personal investment.

As the focus for evaluating effective philanthrophy shifts toward outcome based measurements and away from simply making the donor feel good... then this line is not only blurred, it may become totally irrelevant.

Wednesday, October 10

Sen. Dodd's awesome fundraising pitch

In one of the coolest fundraising solicitations of the 2008 presidential campaign, Senator Chris Dodd is offering to fly a random donor to Boston to see the Red Sox game with him.

"I've got two extra seats -- great seats -- to Game Six of the American League Championship Series against the Cleveland Indians. And I believe they have your name on them.

Next Thursday at 5 P.M. Eastern, we're going to pick one entrant at random, live and online, to attend Game Six with me that Saturday. I'll put up the two tickets, $600 towards airfare for you and your guest, and a hotel room in Boston.

Here's how it works. You make a minimum contribution of $20.04 (in honor of the last time the Red Sox won the World Series, 2004) and you have as good a shot as anyone else to attend the game."
Excuse the pun, but that's one heckuva fundraising pitch (thanks to Atrios for the tip).

Monday, October 8

Slim pickings for charity from world's richest man

I was running late for work this morning and had a chance to see Diane Sawyer interview Carlos Slim, the Mexican telecom magnate, on Good Morning America. You can see a video of the interview here.
Slim is worth a reported $68 billion and was named by Forbes magazine the world's richest man in 2007. However, unlike the philanthropists that occupy second and third place on Forbes list, Slim has been critcized for not donating a large enough portion of his fortune.

Earlier this year, Slim said businessmen can do more good by building solid companies than by "going around like Santa Claus" donating money. Despite the widespread inequality in Mexico, Slim poked fun at Bill Gates and Warren Buffet while telling reporters that "poverty isn't solved with donations."

Sunday, October 7

God can be a very vengeful donor

Twenty years ago, televangelist Oral Roberts said he was reading a spy novel when God appeared to him and told him to raise $8 million for Roberts' university, or else he would be "called home."

Now, his son, Oral Roberts University President Richard Roberts, says God is speaking again, telling him to deny lurid allegations in a lawsuit that threatens to engulf this 44-year-old Bible Belt college in scandal.
According to Justin Juozapavicius at the Associated Press:

Richard Roberts is accused of illegal involvement in a local political campaign and lavish spending at donors' expense, including numerous home remodeling projects, use of the university jet for his daughter's senior trip to the Bahamas, and a red Mercedes convertible and a Lexus SUV for his wife, Lindsay.

She is accused of dropping tens of thousands of dollars on clothes, awarding nonacademic scholarships to friends of her children and sending scores of text messages on university-issued cell phones to people described in the lawsuit as "underage males."

I'll tell you what, if you think God told you to become a fundraiser, I say go ahead and raise the money, but be careful how you spend it... because God subscribes to some charity watchdog blogs and he's gonna come get you if you don't spend it responsibly.

Saturday, October 6

Guiliani email links to dead website

The Washington Post today ran a story about how the Republican presidential candidates are lagging behind their Democratic counterparts when it comes to fund-raising.

Overall, Republican presidential candidates trailed Democrats in fundraising by nearly $100 million -- a gap that is unprecedented in 30 years.

Some Republican leaders said yesterday they are trying to determine whether the drought is merely a short-term setback -- the result of an unpopular president and a field of presidential candidates that has failed to capture the party's imagination -- or whether the Democrats' mastery of the Internet has changed the fundraising landscape.
Perhaps one of the reasons can be found in this funny blog post from Sarah Lai Stirland at Wired's Threat Level who points out that the Guiliani sent out a fundraising email today with a donation link to a dead website.

Ouch. It's hard to raise money when you make your donors jump through hoops.

Thursday, October 4

How much do you think Peyton Manning's name is worth?

Rookie fundraisers make the mistake of thinking it is vanity that motivates hospitals to name a building after a major donor.

The truth is that when a living donor allows a hospital to name a building after them, it could be viewed as part of the donation and not just a reward for the ego.

For example, when St. Vincent Health in Indianapolis recently renamed its pediatric facility after Peyton Manning, it did so because of the money the football star's name would attract.

"By Peyton lending his name to our organization, he'll take a much more active role to help us raise additional funds," said St. Vincent Health Chief Executive Vince Caponi shortly before the name change. "As you can imagine, Peyton knows a lot of people I don't know."
Daniel Lee reported today at the Indianapolis Star that St. Vincent has said only that Manning and his wife, Ashley, made an unspecified donation, but the couple requested that the nature of the gift remain private.
St. Vincent seems to be wasting little time preparing to reach all of those people.

Since the Sept. 5 unveiling of the new name, St. Vincent has appointed a director of development, Michele Rodger Spencer, for the children's hospital. It is the first time St. Vincent will have a fundraising chief dedicated to its children's facility.

St. Vincent will set specific fundraising goals in the next month or two, said Kevin Speer, chief strategy officer. He added, "Putting Peyton's name on the building, it thrust us into a national spotlight overnight."
Kim Gattle, director of development and communications for the Center on Philanthropy at IU, called it "a gift of his social capital." So how much do I think Peyton's name is worth?

...oh wait! Before you answer, maybe it would be helpful to remember some other recent use of social capital on January 1, 2007. Britney Spears was paid $240,000 for her now-classic fainting performance at PURE on New Year's Eve. To count down from 10 to one and wish the crowd a Happy New Year, she was paid $16,000 a syllable.

Wednesday, October 3

Nonprofit pounces on SCHIP veto with Blogads campaign

It was no surprise that President Bush planned to veto the $35 billion expansion of the State Children's Health Insurance Program today, but as soon as he did, the healthcare advocacy group, FamiliesUSA launched a well planned and well coordinated online response.

The group plans has been preparing to run an estimated 8 million impressions in the first week of the campaign on 14 blogs including Crooks and Liars, Democratic Underground, Firedoglake, Political Wire and Talking Points Memo.

Kate Kaye at The ClickZ Network published an excellent article today on the campaign:

Two ads mimicking streaming video units each display still photos of a child. The first ad to run features accompanying text that pushes viewers to visit the Families USA site, watch the :30 video ad, sign a petition and contact their congressional representatives about the veto. The petition encourages Congress to override the veto or send the bill back to President Bush.
In addition to building a database of supporters, the landing page (which is hosted on Convio) includes a fundraising call to action by asking supporters to help them run the online video on television. The campaign also received a virtual wave of media attention and even a blog post from Sen. Ted Kennedy.

Kaye's article also describes how another grassroots group called Results is running paid search ads targeted to the keyword "SCHIP" on Google. I've also heard that the conservative Heritage Foundation is also running paid search ads on the SCHIP search words.. but I haven't been able to locate it.. then again, ever since I asked Google to block evil liars from my search results, I haven't been able to find much on the Heritage Foundation.