Nonprofits Mix Up, and Expand, Their Premium Offers
Many nonprofits find a premium that works for them and then stick with it. Not the National Audubon Society. Within the past year, they've truly mixed it up premium-wise. While the final two efforts in 2009 featured tote bags, previous ones in 2009 included a penguin plush toy, an umbrella, a blanket and a windbreaker.
Their most recent effort — a 6" x 9" that mentions the magic word "FREE" on the outer (Archive code #603-171818-0910), in relation to its premium offer — positions not one, but two tote bags as the premium. Despite the generosity (or maybe because of it), there is no buckslip insert discussing this premium, as with previous efforts. Rather, the tote bags are mentioned on the membership form and then on the back of the four-page letter. Seems as if the big premium push was reserved for the outer: "FREE Two Audubon Tote Bags See Inside!"
The National Museum of African American History and Culture goes into multiple premium territory in its October 2009 mailing. Sent out to prospective charter members of this future Smithsonian museum, the #11 outer envelope mentions a freemium (a free decal) and even shows it through a less-used round window (Archive code #576-717826-0910; see thumbnail below).
Inside, it begins with a very strong four-page letter (a young African American soldier returning from World War II, only to be denied admission — because of the color of his skin — to a movie theater within blocks of the White House) that talks mostly about its mission, as not until page four are the premiums mentioned. Perhaps the intention is to get prospects behind the museum and its mission, and then surprise them with the offer of several rewards for their largesse?
The "membership" donation of $25 wins the donor a 10 percent discount at all Smithsonian stores, a newsletter, a subscription to the quarterly magazine and a listing on the e-Honor Roll. For higher gift levels, the premiums kick in. For $40, a Certificate of Appreciation is given; for $100, a double-CD "Every Tone a Testimony" (an aural history of African Americans in words, music and poetry); for $250, the book "Let Your Motto Be Resistance: African American Portraits."