Many of us have been there. We put in our four years (or five, for those on the extended plan) of studying and soul-searching only to end up with an entry-level job that barely covers the interest of a minimum monthly student loan payment. But, it gets better. Just as we’re about to relax after spending 10 hours at said job, the phone rings and it’s a member of our alma mater’s alumni foundation. No, this person doesn’t want to thank us for attending XYZ university. This person wants more money ... a gift, even.
Obviously, the above scenario has been exaggerated. In fact, a lot of people continue to give back for getting so much from a solid education. According to the results of the annual Voluntary Support of Education survey, released by the Council for Aid to Education, charitable contributions made to U.S. colleges and universities reached $29.75 billion last year. Lesson of the day: when there’s money to be had, opportunities abound.
However, it might not be as obvious that print distributors can benefit from this cash cow. After all, the majority of educational institutions have their own in-house printing press or in-plant. Despite this, outside help often is required—particularly with driving direct mail efforts, a primary tactic for fundraising campaigns. Furthermore, in a down-and-out economy where money can’t be wasted (on either end), it is even more important to evoke charitable spirits on the first attempt.
Headquartered in Ontario, Canada, Blue North Strategies is a consulting and marketing communications firm specializing in targeted, personalized communications. To help distributors get schooled in the various challenges and rewards of fundraising mailers for this market sector, Print Professional spoke with Brent Klassen, partner.
PP: What types of mailer services and products do you provide for the education market?