Charity loyalty scheme's 10th birthday milestone
The US-based marketing and incentive firm, Mitch-Stuart Inc., has reached a significant milestone on its tenth anniversary in the business of non-profit airline miles donations: its programme which offers airline miles for charity contributions has raised more than US$250 million in donations, handing over more than 500 million airline miles in return.
Mitch-Stuart operates as the exclusive fundraising consultant to American Airlines and has since added Delta Air Lines' SkyMiles to its line-up of mileage programmes through which charitable donations can be made. The firm is also working with Marriott and Ritz Carlton hotels to create incentive packages for both non-profit organisations and businesses.
The company first launched its frequent funder idea in 1993 using American Airlines AAdvantage miles as a premium. The concept was to motivate potential donors to non-profit and charitable groups to contribute or give more in exchange for AAdvantage miles, which would be used in the same way consumers redeem regular airline mileage. Since that time, Mitch-Stuart has also begun using frequent flier miles for sales incentive packages for small businesses.
Continual growth "Our first client, a major international charity, was facing the same things that most non-profit organisations were facing then, and still face today: not enough contributors and a need for younger participants," observed Michelle Cohen, one of the founders of Mitch-Stuart. "Airline miles with a prime carrier, such as American Airlines, made the organisation seem more relevant to a younger audience, and it gave something tangible and important back to all contributors."
Over the past ten years, the company has helped hundreds of non-profit organisations, including the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, the American Cancer Society, The United Way, The Dallas Museum of Art, and the Greater Los Angeles Zoo.
"We're thrilled that the frequent funder concept has built such a strong following," added Cohen.