Cover Story: Food for Lucinia
At the moment, the organization doesn't have a breakdown of how many donors arrived through the Web vs. the call center. (Hunter says generally, 25 percent to 50 percent more DRTV viewers travel to the Internet than dial up the call center.) The charity also doesn't know how many viewers later donate via direct mail or another channel if the viewers don't use the direct response phone numbers or URLs.
"When we have the food program on television, we have direct mail appeals that come out, also promoting food," Aloma says. "We have a phone campaign, also promoting food. And we have radio programs and print ads that also promote food and hunger. So we have that kind of integration that helps to promote. … But the television program lifts—because they lift recognition of the name, it lifts the response of all other fundraising methodologies. In other words, from 7 percent to 12 percent [overall] lift can be gotten by direct mail and by phone work and by print and by radio, because people will recognize our name from television, and that gives us credibility. When they get a piece of mail from us or a phone call from us, they're more willing to respond positively, because of the publicity television has given us."
In the meantime, Aloma says, Food for the Poor is feeding the DRTV donor information into its database.
"Everyone goes into direct mail, eventually," he says. "Even someone who gives a donation to Web will eventually get some mail. It may be in reduced quantity, but, if you come in through the television, you're followed up with mail after that."
DRTV Is a Channel and So Is Oxygen
The television program runs on cable and broadcast channels all over the United States, Aloma says. But during the test year, 2011, he says Food for the Poor and Russ Reid examined seasonality, geography, time of day and television channel. After optimizing based on those results, Food for the Poor rolled out the program for a wider release in 2012.