And the Winners Are …
Another important addition to the mailing is a personalized one-page lift letter by James E. Williams Jr., the president and CEO of Easter Seals. In the Johnson box, he notes that, "Last year, Easter Seals helped over one million children and adults," and in the body of the letter, he briefly spells out some of the services provided: "therapy, training, education and support services." And he affirms the value of "a gift in any amount you can afford" — it "will help people become as independent as possible, and lead more fulfilling, rewarding lives."
The heart of the mailing, though, is still a two-page letter by a parent whose child was born with a disability. In this case, it's the mother of a girl, Kayla. She starts on a note of flattery, thanking Easter Seals "and people like you," because her daughter "is a typical 9-year-old." She then relates their story, touching on many of the fears, uncertainties and determination most parents experience when raising kids. Without appealing to pity, she paints a hopeful portrait of a "tough little girl," who, with the help of Easter Seals from early on, overcame great odds. At the letter's end, the mom thanks Easter Seals for "so much caring and expertise," and asks for support so more children "will have every opportunity to reach their full potential."
The freemiums and the heavy personalization in this package certainly succeed in getting it opened. But ultimately, it's the powerful, personal letter that inspires donors to give. — Paul Bobnak
High Holiday Appeal to Fight Hunger
Submitted by American Jewish World Service
• The Numbers
Total Income Generated: $508,470
Average Gift: $202
Cost to Raise a Dollar: N/A*