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AdvanceWork: A Doggone Dilemma

Problem/Solution

By Andrea Gabrick




Problem: For more than 55 years, the University of Georgia Annual Fund has asked alumni and friends for their financial support. But in 1997, when the dues-based UGA National Alumni Association replaced the previous free-membership alumni organization, the development office realized that that it would need to explain to alumni why supporting both the NAA and UGA's annual fund are important.

Solution: UGA built an ad campaign to promote both organizations around something that all the university's alumni and friends know and love-Uga, the bulldog mascot. The university communications team, along with the director of the annual fund and the NAA director of membership services, came up with a catchy slogan, "Double Dawg Dare You," to run alongside two photos of the beloved bulldog. The full-page, four-color ads feature two information boxes -one for the annual fund and one for the NAA. Each contains its own logo, contact person, and bulleted information about its purpose.UGA Bulldog

The ads ran free of charge in Georgia Magazine, the main alumni publication, as well as in several smaller alumni newsletters and brochures.

To alleviate further confusion, the annual fund director and the NAA director of membership services decided that the NAA would solicit membership only by mail and at NAA-sponsored events, while the annual fund would continue to solicit by phone and direct mail. They set up a schedule so that solicitations would not arrive at the same time.

The results of this dogged effort? Alumni have asked very few questions about the difference between the annual fund and the NAA, and only a small number of gifts have been mistakenly attributed to the wrong campaign. And, more than half of NAA members also made a gift to the annual fund.

About the Author Andrea Gabrick

Andrea Gabrick is CURRENTS' senior editor for communications and marketing.

 

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