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A Fresh Approach to Fundraising

Posted by Richard Chute

13-02-2015 19:07 CST

Topics: Planetary Society

We want you to know that we’ve been listening to you. Members have highlighted the number of fundraising appeals from The Society, and we agree that the number of requests should be streamlined. The Society was founded the 1980s, and our direct mail fundraising practices evolved at a time when none of the current web-based communications existed. Imagine it—no world wide web, emails, or social media like Facebook! Decades ago, direct mail filled a niche that was similar to how these new communications channels function for us today. So, early fundraising appeals were both an opportunity to request support and to share information about projects and programs. 

Today, we have more diverse and better tools. We have a great website, very active blogs, comprehensive event listings, an awesome radio show (available as a podcast or on pubic radio stations around the country), a growing video presence, and we reach more and more members and space fans through Twitter, Facebook and other social media. Over the coming months, we will be experimenting with some new email newsletter formats, such as the one below that spotlight current projects, programs and events.

From The Society Newsletter
From The Society Newsletter
Our newsletter—From The Society—is coming February 14.

Our new eNewsletters will join these other communications channels and through them we will keep you up-to-date. Look for the first one coming to your inbox this weekend. Of course, if you click through and read about a current project and feel moved to make a gift, we absolutely would be delighted. 

As we experiment with the newsletter—From The Society—we would love to receive feedback from you. Let us know what you think of the new eNewsletter's format and content, and offer your suggestions for improvement. We will continue to listen to you.

See other posts from February 2015


Or read more blog entries about: Planetary Society


Bob Ware: 02/17/2015 06:39 CST

Watch out for spamming filters. I've used various ISP's and each has its own criteria. Criteria I've encountered are volume of e-mail, to speed of transmission, number of sessions per day as examples. Now if you are paying for the service they tend to look the other way until someone complains. Good luck to us!

Devin: 02/18/2015 12:49 CST

As someone from the 'younger' crowd, I'll tell you that I rarely even open email, email from you guys being one of my exceptions. I'm especially interested in events, because it's not so prominent on facebook or even the website, so I like that idea. I also like the updates on facebook very much. I see it in-line with other status updates, and the things (and frequency) at which is posted is just about right. Great, informative posts, frequent enough that I see it but not too often that it's annoying. Keep up the good work on FB, don't change a thing there.

rgclark: 02/21/2015 07:25 CST

Planetary science advocates have been disinterested in the "commercial space" debate because of the idea it's only about manned spaceflight. However, it is important to note that following the commercial space approach of having part or all private financing Space X and Orbital Sciences were able to cut 90(!) from the costs of not just the launchers but also the *spacecraft*. That is a key point. It suggests that unmanned exploration spacecraft could also have their costs cut by a factor of 10 by following the commercial space approach. Note also that Planetary Resources Inc. also suggests their privately financed Arkyd space telescopes can cut costs by a fraction of their normal costs. Then I suggest a fresh approach to fundraising is that we planetary science supporters should advocate for getting private financing for unmanned exploration missions, and indeed make note of the fact such missions can even be *profitable*: Low cost Europa lander missions. Bob Clark

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