Welcome CircServ visitors! CircServ is now Impact Distribution Marketing.

Getting Dirty Can Be So Good

Do you like to get dirty and run through strange and unusual obstacles?  If so, you’re the perfect fit for a mud run. The only thing better than crawling through mud and leaping over fire, is doing it all for a cause. Obstacle races have exploded in popularity, with hundreds popping up all over the country. Warrior Dash, Tough Mudder, Spartan Sprint, Swamp Dash Bash, & Muddy Mama are all mud runs created to support a cause.


For the past 10 years, mud runs have dramatically increased in popularity, with more and more new events showing up. Although this new generation of running events is obviously more festive than most of the traditional running events, mud runs can also be far more challenging and generally require more strength and endurance. We find that most of these mud runs can range anywhere from 3 to 14 miles.

Because of the growing popularity of these events, they have become a great platform to raise funds for charity. A portion of all the registration proceeds goes directly to a charity chosen by the event organizers. The websites for these muddy events usually contain links to the nonprofits they are raising money for. You can make donations directly from their site and some will assist you and your team in raising funds by providing custom fundraising pages and links for social media websites.


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The 2013 Denver Dumb Friends League Furry Scurry was a tremendous success!

The Furry Scurry in Denver is a local nonprofit event that we had the honor of being a part of this year. The Dumb Friends League Furry Scurry is an annual two-mile walk for animals that took place at Denver’s Washington Park on Saturday May 4th. It is the Dumb Friends League’s largest annual fundraiser, with more than 12,000 people and 5,000 dogs joining us for the walk and raising funds for the homeless pets in our care.’” Read more about the Furry Scurry here at their website


A furry friend supporting the Denver Dumb Friends League

A furry friend supporting the Denver Dumb Friends League

Impact Distribution Marketing used print brochure distribution to help spread the word about the Furry Scurry. We coordinated a multi-channel campaign and distributed brochures, posters, and thank you cards to 3000 area restaurants fitness centers, pet-related shops and other retail establishments.

Start Line at the 2013 Furry Scurry
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The economy is undoubtedly growing with some sectors truly taking off. This is great news but what does it mean in the nonprofit sector and how is economic growth affecting charitable giving?

In recent years many nonprofit organizations that rely on donations may have tightened their belts because of the slow economy. With the sustained improvement in the U.S. economy, they can start to be more aggressive with their fundraising activities and take advantage of expected increases in both personal and corporate donations.

The 2012 Run Walk Ride Fundraising Survey, a well-respected indicator of charitable giving,  shows that the Pelotonia event reported a Gross Revenue of $16.9 million which is up $3.8 million (29%) from 2011. Many other organizations have shown an increase as well. These organizations include March of Dimes March for Babies, Autism Speaks Walk Now For Autism Speaks, American Diabetes Association Tour de Cure, American Diabetes Association Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes, Big Brothers Big Sisters of America Bowl for Kids’ Sake, and The ALS Association Walk to Defeat ALS.  There has also been a rise in event participation. “Overall participation in “thon fundraising” programs rose by $280,000 (2.4 percent) to $11.9 million in 2012, the study showed.” Source: http://www.runwalkride.com/

As we begin to come out of this economic crisis, nonprofits will need to find unique approaches and establish new platforms for attracting the next generation of donors and active fundraisers.  Impact Distribution Marketing can help with a multi-channel strategy, integrating brochure distribution, poster distribution, digital signage, and online banner ad optimization.  Let us know how we can help your organization thrive in this new fundraising environment.

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Does your brochure design attract DONORS??

Is your brochure captivating at first glance? Is there a call to action? Does the cover tell a story or is it just branding? Does it draw people in, make them pick up the brochure and find out more? How good is your brochure design?

When you distribute brochures to create awareness for your fundraising campaign, your primary objective is to have people to pick them up and read them.  You need to convey your story in an instant, and often with a single image.  If you don’t get the cover right, the rest of the brochure is like the proverbial tree falling in a forest that no one ever hears.

The first glance at the brochure has to communicate a story to the viewer in less than a second. The cover of a brochure has to say something truly compelling with few words, if any. Think of a Steve Jobs slide presentation and how he could grab an audience with beautiful images and very sparse text.

Let me offer an example with the St. Jude’s image below…

St. Jude Dream Home Give Away

One look at those kids and I’m drawn in.  I don’t need any words.  I don’t even need to know the story behind those kids.  It’s so obvious that they are on a journey that I know I’ll never understand but I instantly want to lend a helping hand.

Be honest with yourself…are you telling the same quality of story with the front flap of your marketing brochures?


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Market your fundraising events for maximum IMPACT

If you’re like most nonprofits, events are a big part of how you connect with supporters and potential donors. And if you’re like many people who work in the nonprofit world, marketing and promotion can often fall lower than it should on your priority list. You don’t really want to do it, but you HAVE to do it. Promoting a nonprofit is similar to promoting any business; do it well, do it professionally, and the public and media will love you.

Nonprofit organizations spend most of their budgets on the programs they run for the people and causes that they serve. This often leaves very little money for marketing, communicating, advertising or promoting who they are and what they do.  Bottom line: you are always doing more with less, so optimizing your outreach efforts is essential.

We take your nonprofit fundraising event seriously. We know each run, walk or ride builds awareness, adds to your donor base and is essential to your bottom line. The public needs to know about it. It’s our job to get the word out. We distribute your print marketing materials to demographically targeted locations. With a distribution network in 160 cities, plus Canada, and access to more than a million locations, we are focused on your success. We can also tie in digital marketing with your print distribution. We coordinate multi-channel campaigns that integrate brochure distribution, digital signage and internet marketing. We analyze results in real-time so we can instantly focus on the marketing channels that are providing the best results.

Print Marketing Distribution:

  • Distribution of Point-of-Purchase (POP) Brochures, Posters, Flyers, Catalogues, Palm Cards, Trading Cards and much more.
  • Professional, local distributors in each market.
  • Specialized distribution lists that target preferred demographics.
  • Selective audits, providing photographs to ensure placement of materials.
  • Follow-up with distribution lists and colored maps after each event.

Internet Marketing:

  • Create impact by tying print collateral directly to web and digital resources.
  • Provide incentives to scan QR codes, to “like” on Facebook, to follow on Twitter.
  • Complete social media strategy – including Facebook and Twitter.
  • Geographically targeted banner ads, search ads and pay-per-click ads.
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

 Digital Signage Marketing:

  • Digital signage will put your event front and center in fitness centers of your choosing.  Considering the demographic you can reach in a fitness center (active, 30-somethings and 40-somethings with disposable income) there is no better way to supplement a print marketing campaign.


  • Detailed analysis, including charts and graphs, of past results to determine how to improve this year’s event.Social Media Audits:

Social Media Audits:

  • Low-cost, no-risk evaluation of digital marketing efforts.
  • Optimize the power of your Google Grant account.  And if you don’t have one yet, we can help you take advantage of this free marketing resource.
  • Identify the drivers of traffic, along with registrations and donations.
  • Develop recommendations and options for improvement.
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Google Grants and How Impact Can Help You…

Many organizations have never heard of Google Grants and are unfamiliar with what exactly this service entails. Google Grants is the nonprofit edition of AdWords, This is a FREE pay-per-click advertising provided to non-profits.  We can help nonprofit clients maximize their clicks from this in-kind AdWords™ advertising. This will in turn assist to promote their missions and initiatives on Google.com.

Google Grants

Being that it is a free service; Google Grants does have its restrictions. For instance, they set a daily budget and a maximum cost-per-click (CPC). This service also limits your organization to appear only on Google.com and they are limited to just text ads. These restrictions are not necessarily a bad thing as they do run keyword targeted campaigns and focus on reaching out to people on the internet that have a genuine interest in what your organization does and who you are trying to reach. They will, however, run your ads for as long as you remain actively engaged with your Grants AdWords account.

Impact Distribution Marketing can help your nonprofit manage their AdWords account. There is a list of criteria your organization must meet in order to qualify for Google Grants. There is also a criterion regarding the program that your organization must follow. Because we know your organization is busy getting ready for the next event and making connections with potential donors, Impact Distribution Marketing takes care of all the pieces of Google Grants for you.

We start by doing all the research to ensure that your organization is eligible for the program. There are a lot of different pieces that go into the eligibility process so let our experienced staff take care of those details for you. Then we apply for you. We also help get your website ready to meet the program criteria.

Online marketing for nonprofits can be time consuming but in order to keep Google Grants your organization is required to maintain specific engagement guidelines. We will ensure that we are helping your organization meet and follow these guidelines. We run extensive and comprehensive keyword searches to guarantee your pay per click optimization to be at its highest. This includes pay per click management regularly to ensure that your organization is getting the most out of the keywords chosen and the budget set.

So if your organization is looking to enhance their online presence, Google Grants might be just what you are looking for. Don’t let it become labor intensive to your organization, get the kind of help that matters. Let Impact Distribution Marketing optimize your website and take the stress off your back.

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Are brochures and posters still relevant in a world of online and mobile marketing?

Want to find out if people like the new Greek restaurant that just opened in your neighborhood? Need to find the closest Starbucks to you? Can’t remember the actors from the cast of Full House? Nowadays we just Google, look it up on Yelp, or MapQuest the answers to all of these questions.  The world today uses the internet for almost everything. Our society has become so centered and focused on the online community we wonder if there is a need for print marketing any more.

OF COURSE THERE IS! Brochures and posters are definitely relevant in the marketing world. There are many things you can do to advertise a business. One of the best advertising strategies for many companies is having posters and brochures printed. The point is, the more people see an advertisement, the more likely it is going to be that they will take a look at that orgaization. So if a customer sees your poster or brochure in a shop or on a bulletin board, and then sees a Google ad-link, they may be more likely to click on that ad.


Brochures are easy to distribute and other businesses can carry them for free. The design aspect of brochures can be flexible with everything from photograph placement to the information provided. Because you are not having to type up a full catalog or a letter to your customers, brochures actually save time. With detailed information, a brochure can prove to be an apt option.

Posters are another ideal way to reach your target market. Posters can be extremely cost effective. Think about it, advertising space on Google or Facebook can cost anywhere from fifty cents to $2 for a click on your link from ONE customer. Based upon the size of your poster, you can have one printed anywhere from $1 to $40. A poster can potentially be seen by hundreds or thousands of people and, by some, more than once. If they were not effective you wouldn’t see movie posters in subway stations or plastered on billboards on the sides of buildings. Posters are credible and advertisers have been using them for a very long time.

Even in the world of online marketing, print media such as posters and brochures still have a place. Impact Distribution Marketing can help your organization with poster distribution as well as distribution of brochures. Our network and print marketing distribution includes:

  • Distribution of Point-of-Purchase (POP) Brochures, Posters, Flyers, Catalogues, Palm Cards, Trading Cards and much more
  • Professional, local distributors in each market
  • Specialized distribution lists that target preferred demographics
  • Selective audits, providing photographs to ensure placement of materials
  • Follow-up with distribution lists and colored maps after each event

Let us help!

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Find New Participants for your Upcoming Events

For most nonprofit events such as a run, walk, or ride it can be difficult to find new people to participate. How does an organization reach out to find them? There is a strong correlation between better fundraising performance and growth in gift count. This is extremely important for any nonprofit. This relationship reinforces the need to drive participation for your event in order to maximize fundraising results.

If you are looking for a 40-something woman with disposable income who enjoys fitness and endurance activities, where would you look?  The gym! This is the profile of an ideal donor, registrant, or participant in a walk, run or ride type of event.  We can reach them through our digital signage network.  Digital signage is a form of electronic display that shows television programming, menus, information, advertising and other messages.

Impact Distribution Marketing offers digital signage marketing to our customers. We have over 500 screens in premiere athletic facilities nationwide. We offer digital signage advertising in college fitness facilities, LifeTime Fitness, and other general fitness facilities such as the YMCA. Your local digital signage advertising could actually reach up to 51,000 different fitness enthusiasts and possible donors, registrants and participants.

An example of some digital signage we have done


This ad is placed in different fitness facilities and is making thousands of impressions.

So what is your organization doing to increase participation for events? Many participants are likely to become fundraisers for your organization and cause. You can’t go wrong with advertising in fitness facilities on digital signage displays. Think of how many of these you have seen. Now think about the impact your organization can have by using them.

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Can Fundraising be Funny?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERACan Fundraising be Funny?

Look at the first three letters in fundraising. Do you see the word? We do, too. Fun. So it begs the question. Can we all have a little fun while raising funds? Can marketing campaigns for non-profit organizations tickle the funny bone? Can humor bring higher returns for fundraising events? Possibly, yes.

Let’s take insurance companies. One would think accidents are serious business that demand serious advertisements. But the current advertising trend is the exact opposite. And it seems to be a hit. Instead of witnessing serious car accidents, we laugh with talking ducks, downtrodden cavemen and a goofy gecko.

The insurance companies may have struck on a universal cord.  They figured out people like to smile more than frown.  Laughter makes people feel good.  And when people feel good, they buy.  Humor brings together all ages, races, genders and classes.  There are no barriers in laughter.

According to a 1993 study in the Journal of Marketing, humor is “more likely to secure audience attention, increase memorability, overcome resistance, and enhance message persuasiveness.”

A recent article in the Association of Fundraising Professionals, “When Humor Can Be Very Effective in Fundraising Marketing Campaigns,” reports on the benefits of using humor in fundraising.  It touches on the reasons people give.  Besides wanting to help, people give for recognition, socialization and redemption.  The article gives examples of some relatively recent marketing campaigns that used the fun in fundraising to raise awareness and build a stronger base of donors and participants.

Here are a few examples:

The Blood and Tissue Center of Central Texas tapped into redemption by using television advertisements that featured people doing some not-so-nice things.  In one, a person left a shopping cart in the parking lot median instead of lugging it back to its rightful place.  Another showed a person pushing the “close” button in an elevator instead of holding it for someone who was running to catch it.  In each spot, an announcer says, “Need to redeem yourself?  Give blood and save two lives.”  The campaign seemed to be a success.  During the most recent advertising run, blood donors were up almost 50 percent.

The Austin Humane Society used various lighthearted sayings of how dogs and cats will help their owners.  Next to individual pictures of lonely-looking dogs, captions read, “One Word: Wingman” and “You, Bert. Me, Ernie.”  Next to a cat, the caption reads, “Prepare to be Loved. And Ignored.”

“I love Boobies,” a more lighthearted campaign that has made huge waves, was created by the Keep A Breast Foundation.  Whatever you think of the campaign, it has made a big impact, especially on younger generations.  People of each gender wear bracelets, put on t-shirts and done bumper stickers, declaring their love for boobies.  It’s more of a lighthearted way to say that women are important and critical to our society.  The campaign has expanded awareness of breast cancer to young people and has converted this once overlooked segment of society into donors and active participants.  However, the campaign has not been without controversy. Schools across the country have banned the bracelets.  News agencies have picked up the stories.  The internet has lit up with young adults chatting.  But for this non-profit organization: Mission Accomplished.  Even in the controversy, young adults are participating in a cause they once didn’t care about.  All this buzz has created a word loved by every non-profit organization: awareness.

It should go without saying that using humor can be risky business.  Much thought and attention needs to go into the approach of a funny fundraising campaign to make sure it’s not offensive.  It’s important to know your audience — your donors.  You should play off a common bond you both share and make sure the humor is relavent to your cause and objective.  Try not to go overboard with your humor — take the less-is-more approach.  If you’re unsure, first test it out on a few donors or friends to see if it flies.  If not, toss it.

For your next marketing distribution, consider funny – or at least a more lighthearted approach to your fundraising.  You just might find some real fun in fundraising – and the impact could mean some real funds to your non-profit organization.

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