The “ad journal” or printed program book with sponsor ads has long been part of the formula for success in classic event fundraising. Ad journals are generally distributed to guests at dinner galas, awards luncheons, cocktail events, some golf outings and other fundraisers. A new solution for the traditional Ad Journal is the Digital Journal which led some organizations to abandon printed journals altogether.
Today’s innovative alternatives range from e-journal PDFs to online “flip” books and PowerPoint displays at the event. Many function passively like the printed journal books of the past. A more dynamic option is an e-journal website ( www.souvenirbook.org). The e-journal site can promote the event; provide details such as attire and schedule; and even include links for directions, calendar notices that can be downloaded and integrated online purchases. These sites feature color ads that link to sponsor websites and are generally complemented by a digital journal presentation at the event.
New features afforded by digital technology streamline the tedious journal process for donors, guests and event staff. For example, ads can be submitted directly online. Ads that require design can be created into elegant messages consistent with branding for the event.
With the integration of social media, these event-specific sites can be shared with thousands of friends and colleagues of committee members and constituents who are not on traditional mailing lists. E-mail marketing can promote relevant and timely messages, driving traffic back to the e-journal website for further action. This type of event promotion is critical in attracting event donors under the age of 40 as well as corporate supporters with digital marketing platforms.
As dated methods of event fundraising fade away, digital journals can remain viable fundraising vehicles for years to come. By translating what has made the printed journal a successful tool for so many fundraising events into a more contemporary format, digital journals can offer more value than ever to sponsors, guests and staff.