Farm Aid Uses Convio to "Cultivate" Broader Base of Supporters Over the Internet

Family Farm Organization Founded by Willie Nelson and Other Artists Enhances Internet Infrastructure for More Effective Outreach, Communications and Fundraising

AUSTIN, Texas, Feb. 9, 2004 (PRIMEZONE) -- Farm Aid, the national organization that supports family farmers, now is using Convio(r) to "cultivate" a broader base of supporters - an important next step in the group's evolution. Convio provides software and services that help organizations use the Internet to more effectively attract, motivate and retain constituents so they will donate and provide other types of support.

Music artists Willie Nelson, Neil Young, John Mellencamp and Dave Matthews lead the charge for Farm Aid, which was founded as a way to give something back to the rural communities that raised them. Farm Aid's widely known annual concert raises approximately half of the organization's annual revenues. To date, Farm Aid has raised more than $25 million and given grants to 100-plus farm organizations, churches and agencies. Grants are used for direct services -- including food aid, legal assistance and hotlines -- to help struggling U.S. farm families stay on the land and also to promote outreach, education and development of long-term solutions for the problems facing rural America. Farm Aid currently is working to generate year-round awareness of its mission and significantly increase support. The Internet will play a central role in achieving these goals.

"Providing emergency assistance to family farms requires donations throughout the year, and it's equally important for consumers to keep farmers in mind every time they shop for food," said Wendy Matusovich, Director of Development at Farm Aid. "It's a huge advantage to use Convio's tools for email, online fundraising and Web site content management. Now we'll be able to efficiently communicate and sustain relationships with hundreds of thousands of consumers 365 days a year."

Farm Aid is using Convio's solution centers for email marketing, online fundraising and Web site management. The organization also will use Convio's solution for synchronizing constituent data gathered through online interactions (e.g., Web site registration, email click-throughs to Web pages, etc.) with offline databases - critical for conducting integrated marketing and communications programs.

One of Farm Aid's first campaigns using Convio is aimed at growing the group's email address file and simultaneously educating consumers about ways to support family farming when food shopping in their local communities. The organization's new brochure, "Ten Ways to Ensure Healthy Food for You and Your Family," is available at for free downloading by registered constituents. To register, constituents provide their email addresses and can indicate their interests. Farm Aid can then build relationships with these constituents by communicating with them frequently through personalized emails and Web site content. Such relevant communications build affinity for the organization and its mission, priming constituents for giving and participating in additional ways.

"Farm Aid is wise to strengthen its Internet capabilities at a time when the organization is working to develop a broader constituency," said Gene Austin, CEO of Convio. "Convio's powerful online software combined with our services, expertise and customer focus will help vault Farm Aid forward as an organization, as we have done for many other nonprofit groups."

About Farm Aid

Willie Nelson, Neil Young and John Mellencamp organized the first Farm Aid concert in 1985 to raise awareness about the loss of family farms and to raise funds to keep farm families on their land. Dave Matthews joined the Farm Aid board of directors in 2001. Farm Aid has raised more than $25 million to promote a strong and resilient family farm system of agriculture. Through public education and direct grants, Farm Aid supports national, regional and local efforts to promote sustainable agriculture, fight factory farms, advocate for fair farm prices and provide credit counseling and direct assistance to farm families. To learn more about Farm Aid, visit their Web site at: or call 1-800-FARM-AID.

About Convio, Inc.

Convio is the leading provider of software and services that help nonprofit organizations use the Internet to build strong constituent relationships to drive support and participation. Convio has online solution centers for fundraising and membership, advocacy, special events, volunteer fundraising, Web site management, email communications and alumni relations. All centers include the Constituent360(tm) platform, a sophisticated, online marketing database that centralizes constituent data and integrates with offline databases. This gives nonprofits a unified view of constituent interests and motivations -- key for personalized and targeted outreach and communications. Convio also provides services and consulting to help nonprofits achieve success online.

In addition to Farm Aid, Convio's clients include Easter Seals, American Diabetes Association, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, AVON Foundation, National Trust For Historic Preservation, Chesapeake Bay Foundation, KCET Community Television of Southern California, Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, Georgetown University and the Y-ME National Breast Cancer Organization. For more information, please visit: .

The Convio logo is available at:


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