The Very Model of a
Modern Donor Gift Program

If you’ve ever found yourself searching for a new podcast, you’ve likely run across the titles “Bullseye with Jesse Thorn”, “Judge John Hodgman”, or “The Memory Palace”. These are a few of more than a dozen independently produced podcasts on the Maximum Fun network—a donor supported collective of comedy and culture podcasters. 

Like thousands of fans who listen to new weekly episodes of MaxFun podcasts, we at MSS are also donors to the network, and a few years ago we asked how we could be more involved. As it turned out, Maximum Fun needed to get control of their growing donor gift program, and they decided that MSS was their best option to do it in a reliable, cost effective way. Every year, Maximum Fun takes about 10 days of its recording schedule to ask its loyal listeners to support their shows. They call it MaxFunDrive, and unlike other fundraising efforts—like those on public radio, for instance—it is actually enjoyable content. 


MaxFunDrive highlights the network's lofty, continuing goal of providing great content with little-to-no advertising sponsorship. To achieve this requires the acquisition of an ambitious number of new monthly donors. 2014's drive saw Maximum Fun shooting past its goal of 1,500 by adding nearly 3,000 new or increased monthly donations. For a podcasting network, this is unheard of. But the effort behind it is very similar to what we see in larger marketing and sales departments. For Maximum Fun, taking excellent care of loyal audiences and formally appreciating their supporters is a crucial part of growing their operation.

In early 2014, MSS worked with the MaxFun team to develop special donor gift kits—one for each donation level—including the design and production of several gift items. We had some fun customizing the presentations and our distribution team planned a trackable launch. MSS scrubbed the donor list MaxFun provided, ensuring there were no duplicates or errors that might have caused problems during shipping. Then, we shipped each of the thank-you gifts to donating members, completing the cycle of donor support and fan appreciation. 

The annual MaxFun Drive is a wonderful example of how smaller organizations can leverage the infrastructure, expertise and creative flexibility MSS has to offer. Our team is made of people who relish the opportunity to make something special for our customers, and each kit we assemble represents our attitude of clear communication and cooperation. MSS kitting and assembly extends the reach of customer retention and marketing efforts, releasing nearly 10 million kits every year for organizations of all shapes and sizes. 


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Feature photo credit: Zac Wolf