And the Winners Are …
That was the challenge the National Museum of American Jewish History was facing last year when it launched this campaign. And to make that challenge even more challenging, its new building was still under construction while its current home didn't have any active exhibit space, so a "real" benefits offer was out of the question.
"It was a real paradigm shift," explains The Lukens Co.'s Hilary Baar. "We offered an exclusive category, Founding Member, that was tied to a purely philanthropic ask (as opposed to a membership benefits program)."
This tight mailing's outer evokes the images of famous Jewish Americans (including Bob Dylan and Sandy Koufax, among others), with the words "It's their story … " included among the photos, and " … it's your story" running across the bottom — a masterful design that immediately creates a sense of fellowship and belonging. A colorful trifold brochure spotlighting a stunning rendering of the new building accompanies the letter, carries that theme inside, and offers a menu of benefits and premiums, as well as more information about the museum.
"The copy throughout this package is really, really well-written, and each one of the letter's four pages is all about the offer and building rapport with the potential donor — a win-win combo," says Gold Awards judge Kimberly Seville, who gave the package a perfect score. "The 'Can I include your name … and keep your story alive' lead in the letter is perfect, and it's reinforced throughout the package.
"Beside the lapel pin, membership card, signed print and DVD collection back-end offers," she says, "the naming opportunity is the real heart of the museum's offer, and it's irresistible — especially when presented so well."
The most important part of the package, Baar says, was deciding to whom it should be sent, noting that the new donation model (as opposed to membership benefits) allowed the museum to think outside of its immediate 'hood — Philadelphia — and attempt to gain supporters on a national level. So the mailing was divided into two segments: primary (Philadelphia area) and national.