And the Winners Are …
Cost to Raise a Dollar: $0.021
Every year at awards time, the FundRaising Success offices fill up with tons of entries, many of which are bursting with inserts and offers, and offering a pleasantly tactile "puffy" quotient. This year was no exception.
But it was a classically simple mailing from The Muscular Dystrophy Association that took best of show — and handily, at that. The Research Leaders package was intended to revitalize the organization's relationship with $100-and-up donors and attract them to MDA's mid-level donor society.
The sexiest element of this four-piece mailing is a fairly standard-looking membership card affixed to a two-sided letter. The letter, signed by Jerry Lewis, is heartfelt. The mailing's simplicity and its ivory/burgundy color scheme add a distinct touch of class befitting the higher-level donors it wants to attract.
What else did the judges like? Pretty much everything.
"This package is direct-mail fundraising at its best," Gold Awards judge Joe Boland remarks. "It uses the best practices of personalization on everything from the letter to the insert to the reply device, basing the ask on giving history and offering the chance to increase donations. More importantly, the copy is a picture-perfect example of how fundraising letters should read. Throughout, the letter stresses how you, the donor, are needed, what your money will do, how MDA needs to rely on you. And it tugs on the emotional heartstrings with the story of Abbey — another best practice.
"Beyond that," he adds, "the letter does a great job offering the premium for those below a certain giving level to encourage a larger gift, and a freemium for those that already give at that mark. The insert about the membership continues the theme of making it all about the donor, discussing how 'YOU Can Fight Muscular Dystrophy,' talking about 'someone you know,' and recognizing 'your leadership.'"