The Nature Conservancy Picked As Nonprofit Of The Year

Acquiring more new and younger donors through direct mail in combination with other channels has resulted in the 2012 Nonprofit Organization of the Year Award for The Nature Conservancy (TNC). The Arlington, Va.-headquartered conservation charity will be feted during the Direct Marketing Association Nonprofit Federation (DMANF)’s annual New York Nonprofit Conference on July 26.

The Nonprofit of the Year Award recognizes outstanding achievement by an organization using direct response marketing to advance its mission. “This award is a testament to The Nature Conservancy’s 60 years of hard work around the world,” said Geof Rochester, chief marketing officer at The Nature Conservancy, a world leader in conservation. “As a membership-based organization we are very honored to receive this award.”

In 2010, The Nature Conservancy membership team recognized the need to diversify the fundraising repertoire to acquire new and younger supporters. While embracing other channels, The Nature Conservancy recognized the continued importance of direct mail and made adjustments to its direct mail program to ensure it functioned efficiently and in tandem with canvassing, digital, DRTV, social media and telemarketing efforts.

Digital and canvassing represent more than a quarter of new donors acquired, according to Rochester, while reliance on mail acquisition has dropped from 83 percent to 68 percent. “As a result, our membership is becoming younger, boosting the number of supporters under the age of 45,” he said.

“The Nature Conservancy's success is indicative of not only hard work, but courage and motivation,” said DMANF Senior Vice President Xenia “Senny” Boone. “The Nature Conservancy sets an amazing example for other nonprofit organizations.”

The award aims to recognize an organization each year that uses direct response marketing to advance its mission, demonstrating an outstanding record of sustained achievement in direct marketing fundraising and financial performance, as well as innovative direct marketing techniques. Previous winners of the DMANF’s Nonprofit of the Year Award include Human Rights Campaign, Heifer International, ASPCA, Operation Smile, Doctors Without Borders and American Diabetes Association.