2014 Gold Awards for Fundraising Excellence Direct Mail ($10 million and Over) Winners
Response rate: 1.36 percent
Total cost: $129,371.78
Income generated: $378,255
Average gift: $92.14
Cost to raise a dollar: $0.34
Longwood Gardens was faced with no small problem in 2013, when results for its 2012 appeal had fallen nearly 50 percent from the previous year. The 2011 campaign got a 1.1 percent response rate with a non-traditional package that contained a four-page letter, a benefits insert and a reply form.
The 2012 campaign was written and designed in-house, and for 2013 Longwood Gardens recognized that it might need some outside counsel. Once it partnered with Daniller + Co., it aimed to test an improved version of the successful 2011 format against a shorter letter with more images. The 2013 control maintained 2011’s 6-inch-by-9-inch format and offers but was updated with a new theme, a more welcoming and appreciative “you” tone aimed at gardeners and garden lovers, and more “people pictures” with a deliberate mix of ages and activities. With the refreshed control in place, the organization tested three packages around offers, extra package components, and letter length and format.
This silver-award-winning campaign greatly exceeded projections, securing more members and generating higher income than anticipated. It also outperformed the wildly successful 2011 control, becoming Longwood’s most successful package to date.
BRONZE: Perez Art Museum Miami — November 2013 Member Acquisition Campaign (Submitted by Daniller & Co.)
Response rate: 1.97 percent
Total cost: $66,210.83
Income generated: $455,404.66
Average gift: $207.95
Cost to raise a dollar: $0.15
Toward the end of 2013, the Perez Art Museum Miami found itself in something of a good news/bad news situation. The good news was that 1) the former Miami Art Museum was about to reopen with a new name in a stunning new facility, and 2) the period just before a grand opening is a fabulous time to fundraise. The bad news was that depressed results due to mail fatigue were a real possibility because two previous mailings had gone out just prior. Plus, the museum was looking to expand its supporter base by reaching out to both upscale audiences seeking recognition and lower-income audiences who might not ever have considered museum membership.