The Key Ingredient in Multi-Channel Fundraising May Not Be What You Expected

Posted on September 30, 2013

“The timing need only be miraculous.”  I love that catch-phrase.  In fact, it’s the backbone of how we built our production management model 28 years ago. Whether you are talking about seasonality or annual appeal, timing is everything in production management and fundraising.

Heifer Logo wPOG Final.CMYK

Patrick McVean, Production Solutions’ Senior Account Strategist and I found ourselves reflecting on the brilliant timing of Heifer International’s gala in L.A., held on September 20.

Patrick told me about a conversation he had with one of Heifer’s senior executives after the event.  “I told him how fabulous the evening was…so casual and fun with phenomenal entertainment.  Of course, I asked him how the event did from an income standpoint. Although he said they did very well, what struck me was his turning of the topic from raising funds to the importance of holding this event at this important time of the year: ‘With the fall coming up and the Heifer holiday catalog about to hit homes in a couple of weeks, it was important to stay relevant and top-of-mind as the catalog delivers to our donors and prospective donors.’”

Executive Dir Pierre Ferarri Heifer International

Congratulations on all that you and your brilliant team do, Pierre! (Pierre Ferarri, Ex. Dir., Heifer International).

It was then that it struck me…Heifer’s dedicated staff and strategic partner firms (i.e. PS) are pulling off a multi-channel marketing/fundraising campaign with finesse, brilliance… and perfect timing.

The recipe for success

Take an annual direct mail appeal, layer it with a gala kick-off/major donor cultivation event (complete with an online auction), pepper it with an integrated P.R. and social media campaign, salt it with DRTV, and don’t forget the corresponding digital/email campaign…and there you have it, right?


You can’t just toss those ingredients into the bowl and bake. We are talking Iron Chef, people…not mommy making stew in a crock pot.

Heifer gala 2013.2

Beyond Hunger Gala 9/20/13

It’s all about timing.  A delicious, well-timed, gourmet recipe for multi-channel fundraising success is about lining all those events in a pattern, calling on the appropriate team to pull it all off in the right order, keeping the eye on the prize (a.k.a. fulfilling the mission and raising the money), and serving up a masterpiece takes smart people, working smart together to serve it up right.

And the winner is…

…Heifer International.  If there was such a reality show to showcase the chops of fundraisers, then Heifer would become the reigning Iron Chef equivalent.  They got the ingredients, the team, and the timing down to an art and science.

Production Solutions respects Heifer’s mission and we are proud to promote that mission, as partners. This top-notch charity provides sustenance and empowerment through education for the least developed and industrializing countries of this world.  Not only do we promote their mission through our efforts as their production management partners, but we also walk the talk and support it as corporate donors.

To learn more about Heifer International’s mission to end hunger and poverty and care for the Earth, click here: MUST SEE: check out their fabulous event photo gallery…it’s a veritable Who’s Who of Hollywood!

To check out Production Solutions’ own photo gallery from the event (a veritable Who’s Who of PS rubbing elbows with the Who’s Who of Hollywood!), click here:


GeorgeLizamaGeorge Lizama, a founder of Production Solutions and its CEO and chief marketing officer, has spent over 30 years in production management. A recognized leader in the fundraising industry, George served as president of the Direct Marketing Association of Washington (DMAW) in 2010 and received its Distinguished Achievement Award in 2006. In 2008, he received a Washington Business Journal Philanthropy Award for CEO Leadership, partly in recognition of his longtime support of Northern Virginia Family Service, of which he is a director.