Pioneers in Miles-for-Donations Mark Milestones

Pioneers in Miles-for-Donations Mark Milestones

Mitch-Stuart, Inc., a marketing and incentive firm specializing in nonprofit organizations and small businesses, celebrated its 10th anniversary this fall by reaching two milestones: Its charitable contribution program, which offers airline miles for contributions, has raised more than $250 million in donations, and Mitch-Stuart, Inc. has helped nonprofits award donors with more than 500 million miles.

Mitch-Stuart, Inc. continues today to work as the exclusive fundraising consultant to American Airlines and has since added Delta Air Lines SkyMiles to their repertoire of top-line mileage programs. In addition, Mitch-Stuart is now working with Marriott and Ritz Carlton hotels to create incentive packages for both nonprofits and businesses.

The company first launched the “frequent funder” idea in 1993 using American AAdvantage miles as a premium. The concept was to motivate potential donors of nonprofit, charitable groups to contribute or give more in exchange for AAdvantage miles. Since that time, Mitch-Stuart, Inc. has also begun using the frequent flyer miles for sales incentive packages for small businesses.

Word of the success of Mitch-Stuart, Inc. spread fast within the philanthropic industry. Within a short period of time, scores of nonprofit organizations had enlisted the company to help them raise more funds and increase their contributor list. Over the past 10 years, the company has assisted hundreds of organizations, such as the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, the American Cancer Society, The United Way, The Dallas Museum of Art and the Greater Los Angeles Zoo.

The concept of using frequent flyer miles for fundraising incentives dawned on Michelle Cohen, and her partner and co-founder, Stuart Paskow, after their years of work in the nonprofit sector.

“The idea came to us,” said Paskow, “when we realized how popular frequent flyer miles really were. They are as valuable as cash to many donors, and a far more compelling incentive than just about anything else out there.”

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