Sparking Ideas

Recognition For Your Passion

No matter what industry you work in, it is always gratifying to be recognized by your peers for your hard work and accomplishments. It is even more gratifying when that recognition is for something you are passionate about.

For the past three years, my team and I have had the wonderful opportunity to work with the Art Institute of Chicago (AIC). We have enjoyed playing our small but integral role as integrated marketing partners, by helping the museum achieve their fundraising and membership goals.

Recently, The Lukens Company (TLC) was awarded two Fundraising Excellence Awards from FundRaising Success Magazine. The first was a Silver Award for our work with AIC on the 2013 Cyber Monday campaign. This generated 1,053 memberships and $87,824 in gross revenue in just one day – almost four times the revenue than the year before! The second was a Bronze Award for the 2013 Year-End Appeal that resulted in $158,895 in gross revenue. By utilizing a multi-channel campaign, we reduced the cost to raise a dollar by 15 cents compared to the previous year-end campaign. 

It is hard to put into words how proud I am of our team for their hard work. I see the passion and effort they put into helping AIC achieve their goals on a daily basis. The fact that they have been recognized by a group of their peers for this is truly humbling. From copywriting to mail production, graphic design to web development, digital advertising, data, analytics, and account management; we couldn't have had a better team working together. And, I’m excited that they received the recognition they deserve! 


All the best, 

Marie Kosanovich | Account Director


Amazon Hopes to Make You Smile

If a large online retailer offered to give your non-profit a share of purchases made by your supporters would you be excited? Last year, that’s exactly what Amazon.com began doing.

Your members and supporters could be sending you a portion of the money they spend online right now. Which sounds great; but is it the right move for your organization?

Here are the details.

Amazon will donate 0.5% of eligible sales to a charity of the purchaser’s choice... The catch? They have to purchase their goods through a different URL than that usually frequented by customers.

When visiting smile.amazon.com a customer adds items to their cart as usual, then selects which charity they want to support, from an available list of 501(c)3s. It's free for charities to sign up and there are no processing fees.

How to make it work for you!

For every $100 spent to purchase goods, only $0.50 (half of one percent) would be sent by the Amazon Foundation to your organization. Unfortunately, studies have shown that the “feel good” sensation people get when donating to a charity is roughly the same whether you gave $0.50 to the charity in the example above, or gave $20 directly.

For this reason, many non-profits have been hesitant to sign up for the program. In fears it would lower overall giving. This being said, a partnership could still be beneficial if you target your audience correctly.

For starters, avoid promoting this partnership to your members, gift membership buyers, or regular annual fund donors. We don’t want to run the risk that they stop buying gift memberships, because they purchased something on Amazon and supported you that way.

Instead focus promotion of this partnership to people who aren’t supporting your organization financially. These would be long-term lapsed members and people who have been supporters for over a year, but still haven’t given. This will ensure that any money you receive off their purchases is likely money the non-profit wouldn’t have gotten any other way.

How to use smile.amazon.com to support your non-profit

Due to the small purchase share you will receive, I’d recommend utilizing affordable email and site creative to keep marketing costs minimal.

    •  Use email to promote smile.amazon.com to lapsed and inactive supporters, asking them to make all of their Amazon purchases using this new link

        —  After the non-profit signs up, you can announce the partnership with Amazon and how it helps your mission

        —  During holiday season send emails letting lapsed and inactive supporters know how they can assist your mission while buying the gifts they need

     •  Feature promotional material (image or light box) on the organization’s website , which:

        —  Reinforces the messaging from your email campaigns

        —  Provides ongoing awareness for supporters

To add your organization's name to the available list of charities, please visit org.amazon.com. Amazon will require information for a bank account associated with the non-profit so Amazon can transfer funds into their account.

Kristopher Morris is a Digital Strategist at The Lukens Company, a direct-response marketing firm in Arlington, VA, specializing in integrated multi-channel digital and direct mail campaigns for political and non-profit clients. He specializes in digital advertising and audience analysis to bolster community development, fundraising, and election efforts; with a focus on performance-based ROI. A veteran political strategist, Kristopher has a background in Congressional, state, and national operations. Contact Kristopher at 703.845.8484 or kmorris@thelukenscompany.com

This article appeared in Marketing AdVents, August, 2014.

Opening of the National September 11 Memorial Museum

Today is the Opening of the National September 11 Memorial Museum.

The Lukens Company has been honored to play a small role in the effort to build this amazing museum. With this opening, the museum will honor the victims, pay tribute to those who risked their lives to save others, recognize the extraordinary compassion and unity displayed by so many people in the aftermath, and attest to the triumph of human dignity over human depravity.

National September 11 Memorial Museum

Walter Lukens Presents at ASTC Conference

Walter Lukens presented with Erik Pihl, Vice President of Development at Pacific Science Center at this weekend's Association of Science - Technology Centers Annual Conference. In addition to sharing a case study about the current multi-channel membership campaign PSC is conducting in conjunction with the King Tut exhibition, the presentation also covered lessons learned from Seattle Art Museum's Gaughin and Polynesia exhibit as well as emerging digital trends in direct response marketing. 

Read the complete presentation here, and feel free to contact Walter directly at walter@thelukenscompany.com with any questions. 

Members vs. Donors: What's the Difference?

Do you know the difference? Why is the distinction between the two important? Get the full scoop in the recent article by Vice President of Client Services, Angela Struebing. The article appeared in the Direct Marketing Association of Washington's October AdVents newsletter.

Find out why members should not be treated the same as donors here.