Fundraising for Small Groups Newsletter

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December 16, 2018

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Keeping Your Constituents Attention

by Deane Brengle

Sometimes my best ideas aren't even mine. I just discover them and tell you about them.

My wife and I are invited to a Halloween costume party. Being the frugal consumers we are we were shopping for the pieces and parts of our costumes at our local Goodwill retail store. You know the place - they take all their donated items, spruce them up a bit, and offer them for sale to fund their career training and employment programs. As usual we found some very good bargains.

The "discovered idea" part came at the check-out counter. The clerk slipped something in the bag just before she handed it to us. I didn't see what it was at first. I was just happy to escape a shopping experience with my wife with my money and credit cards some what intact.

But in the car, as we were looking over our purchased treasures, my wife pulled out what the clerk had stuffed into the bag. I could see it wasn't very big. I had been expecting a sale flyer. But it was much smaller than that. It seemed almost too tiny to convey much information. So I just had to see what it was.

Imagine my surprise when I discovered it was a bookmark. I haven't seen anyone but bookstores passing out bookmarks lately. But this wasn't just any ordinary bookmark. It was a marketing piece for Goodwill.

Yes, a marketing piece. I've included a scan of the original, here at the right, so you can see what they have done.

I think this is a very creative piece. It has a few flaws but otherwise is a great idea. What a great way to remind your constituents about the many ways they can support your organization.

I would have liked to seen a logo for branding purposes. And while it asks you to do several things only one of them has a way to proceed if you are interested.

So, what do you think? Is it creative or not? Are enough people reading books anymore to even make this useful? What would you have done different? Shoot me an email at and I'll post your comments right here as I get them.


About the Author:

Deane Brengle is the editor of several free online publications that cover fundraising for small nonprofit groups. You can visit these publications and read more about fundraising in articles by him and other experts in the field at The Fund$Raiser Cyberzine, The Fundraising for Small Groups Newsletter, and Fundraising Booklets.


From B.C.-

I love the idea and agree that it is creative. I would have used some color (although that might have been lost when you scanned) and maybe a picture in addition to “how to” follow-ups like the web site in the one. A phone number or drop off location would have been good.


Thanks B.C. for the feedback. You are right, it did lose something in the scan. It is black ink on cream colored stock with small flecks in it.


From E.W.-

We have used bookmarks as notices of coming programs such as Save the Date for our Summer Institutes for K-8 teachers or a new issue of our publication, Science Is Elementary. They are easy to make in-house on multicolored paper which you cut to size and are great for use at conventions and meetings where people can just pick up one. I like the idea of using them for fundraising if you have away to distribute them.


Thanks for the great ideas E.W. Making them in house reduces your costs and lets you produce them to fit your ever changing situation. Seasonal and holiday needs can be addressed very inexpensively. Many office supply stores carry an extensive line of custom paper that can be purchased just a few sheets at a time if needed.


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