A Look at the DMFA Package of the Year: Fountain House Flying Cat Package

Wednesday, the Direct Marketing Fundraisers Association held a luncheon for its 2011 Package of the Year Winners, which were announced back in June.

FundRaising Success spoke with a few of the creators of the winning packages, and we’ll be highlighting those in Today in Fundraising.

To kick things off, today we discuss the 2011 Package of the Year, the Flying Cat Pads and Cards package — which also won Renewal Package of the Year — from Fountain House, a nonprofit dedicated to the recovery of men and women with mental illness by providing opportunities for its members to live, work and learn, while contributing their talents through a community of mutual support. FS spoke with Amy Tripi, president of Tripi Consulting, who worked with Fountain House to create the package.

Back in 2006, Fountain House and Tripi were tasked with doubling the organization’s file size by the board. At that time, Fountain House had pushed out with mission-driven direct-mail campaigns and did not mail any premiums or freemiums. But with this new goal to grow the file, the idea of using premiums entered the fold.

“In crunching the numbers, the only way that we were going to be able to double the file size was if we were going to move into the world of premiums,” Tripi says.

Luckily for Fountain House, coming up with premiums that tied in to the mission was easy. One of the organization’s programs is running an art gallery showcasing artwork from members of the organization — people with mental disabilities such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. So it was only natural for Fountain House to use some the remarkable artwork its beneficiaries create for the Fountain Gallery as premiums.

Fountain House began mailing small note pads versus a card pack of the artwork and began testing different formats. What Tripi and Fountain House discovered first and foremost is that the premiums worked.

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