Company: The Points of Light Foundation
Contact: Todd Potochnik, Chief Creative Director
Location: Washington, DC
Industry: Not-for-profit
Annual revenue: $20,000,000
Number of employees: 125

Quick read:

The Points of Light Foundation's annual event had grown moribund, and the house list stagnant, says Chief Creative Director Todd Potochnik.

Potochnik and his team were able to boost attendance from the previous year's conference by more than 25% and garner an 85% "satisfactory or above" approval rating from attendees by hiring an agency comfortable working with nonprofits, altering the DM strategy, focusing on "inspiration" for the conference materials, and implementing email blasts.

Challenge:

The Points of Light Foundation's annual conference had become more of reunion than a fundraising event: The same people attended, year after year, and the 2005conference, in D.C., had an attendance of only 2,000.

Worse, the direct mail database used for announcing the conference saw "a significant number" of DM pieces returned in 2005, says Potochnik.

The Foundation organizes the conference in conjunction with the Corporation for National and Community Service. With so many stakeholders involved, the process was far from smooth.

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