By Lisa Yorgey Lester
The ASPCA unleashes the interactive power of the Internet to build relationships and boost awareness.
When it comes to building relationships with constituents, there perhaps is no more effective a tool for nonprofit organizations than the Internet. As the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) has learned, the interactive nature of the Internet allows fundraisers to personalize visual appeals that tug on the emotions and purse strings of Web site visitors.
What's more, the relative low cost of e-mail messages makes it a cost-effective vehicle for the frequent communications necessary to attract constituents, drive action and build loyalty.
Based in New York City, the ASPCA has sought to protect and prevent cruelty to animals throughout the United States for the past 138 years. This mission is carried out through educational programs, public awareness, government advocacy, shelter support, and animal medical services and placement. Its New York City headquarters is home to an animal hospital, behavior center, adoption facility and humane law enforcement department.
Because this nonprofit fully believes an organization is only as effective as its ability to communicate its mission and message through every available medium, it has embraced the Internet as a tool to reach and engage supporters and, in turn, drive them to act. While online donations currently make up only a small percent of this nonprofit's revenue, the ASPCA recognizes the Internet's role as part of an integrated marketing strategy.
This charge falls under the direction of Jo Sullivan, a passionate animal advocate who fondly recalls her penchant for taking stray animals into her childhood home in Virginia. As senior vice president of development, Sullivan is responsible for overseeing the planning and execution of all of the ASPCA's fundraising efforts, including its direct mail, telemarketing, e-marketing and DRTV programs.