2014 Gold Awards for Fundraising Excellence Direct Mail (Less Than $10 million) Winners
Direct Mail (Less than $10 million)
The Fund for Iona College
(Submitted by Iona College)
Response rate: 16.16 percent
Total cost: $4,168
Income generated: $175,865
Average gift: $2,548.77
Cost to raise a dollar: $0.02
There are times when less is more. Such is the case with this letter from Iona College, intended to attract members to its President’s Club and encourage existing members to renew. The effort is simple and classy, with a definite formal allure. Our judges liked that, as well as the real-pen addressing on the outer envelope.
Iona managed to pack a trifold card with President’s Club information, details about the college’s strategic plan and a note from the college’s president; a letter from the chair of the President’s Club; and the usual reply device into a comparatively tiny envelope, without it feeling cramped or stuffy. But the judges also were impressed that the college realized it was time to shake up the President’s Club appeal — previously, it had never sent anything other than a standard letter.
“This was something the college did that was not part of its previous practices,” writes Jill Krueger, senior director of annual giving and advancement services at the college. “The results of this piece exceeded our expectations.”
Response rate: 15.89 percent
Total cost: $13,976
Income generated: $179,494
Average gift: $534.21
Cost to raise a dollar: $0.07
In December 2013, World Jewish Congress found itself having to play a game of catch-up. The organization established a budget goal of $2.5 million net for the year. Typically, the majority of net revenue comes in during the last three months of the calendar. However, 2013 was unusual in many aspects. Due to the changeover to WJC, American Section, no mailing began until late February 2013, so almost two months of potential income was lost. So the fourth quarter of the year took on even greater fundraising significance.
CCAH mailed a year-end appeal message in mid-October. But entering November 2013, there was still a considerable way to go to meet the organization’s annual fiscal numbers. This award-winning package was mailed on Dec. 12, with just a few weeks remaining in the year. The letter focused on the three remaining weeks to take advantage of a special year-end match (gifts up to $250,000 made by Jan. 30 would be matched).
The appeal generated more than $165,000 net revenue from only 336 contributions, and it did so in a matter of only a few weeks.
Response rate: 16.69 percent
Total cost: $64,418
Income generated: $169,398
Average gift: $51.44
Cost to raise a dollar: $.38
There is just no containing the joy when you open the holiday card that is part of this package, and Ramses the lion roars out a holiday greeting. (Well, just roars.)
The objective of this campaign was both to raise funds, and to thank and engage loyal Tiger Haven donors. The very cool talking card not only features a very lionly greeting from Ramses, but also a special recorded thank-you message from Tiger Haven’s founder and president. There is no denying that the numbers bear out the success of this package. At 16.69 percent response rate, it surpassed the average rate of 2013 donor packages (10.60 percent), and at $102,323 net, it far surpassed the average net of 2013 donor packages ($69,333).
But Tiger Haven was equally thrilled with the deepened connection to the organization that the package seemed to create with its most loyal donors, as evidenced by a flood of calls and emails from donors who were delighted with it. The organization took a risk on an expensive package ($3.27 each), and it paid off.