Breaking Need Down, Nickel by Nickel
The focus of this mailing is the nickel — or, more specifically, all the things the American Kidney Fund can accomplish with it. “It’s amazing what the American Kidney Fund can accomplish with the enclosed nickel!” states the No. 10 envelope’s teaser. An arrow points prospects inside to the mailing’s contents: an 8.5-inch-by-15-inch form that includes a detachable reply device and an adjoining sheet of 48 address labels; a 3.5-inch-by-3.5-inch “Thinking of You” card on cardstock; a 7-inch-by-10-inch double-sided letter; and a BRE.
The actual, shiny new nickel is affixed to the reply device with a series of urges from AKF to return the coin, vital to the continuity of the organization’s work, along with a donation. At the top of the reply is the headline, “Put my nickels to work!” followed by the line, “To help the Kidney Fund continue vital programs of emergency assistance to patients with kidney disease, I am returning your ‘hard-working nickel’ along with my gift of …” and an ask string of $15, $20 (starred as the desired minimum gift), $25 and other. To further drive the point home, just above the nickel AKF urges, “Please return this nickel with your gift today — the American Kidney Fund needs every nickel to continue providing vital services when no one else will help you!” pointing to the nickel with an arrow.
The nickel is the center of the letter, as well. An image of it appears just below AKF’s logo. An arrow points to the image, with the caption, “Some people may think that a nickel isn’t worth a lot, but it can be invaluable to a kidney patient!” The letter begins by talking about how the nickel used to be valuable and while today it doesn’t seem like a lot of money, 5 cents, when multiplied, is what makes AKF’s services possible. The letter breaks the ask string down to show how many nickels make up each gift level, and the services each gift level makes possible, e.g., “$15 (equal to 300 nickels) can help provide transportation assistance to dialysis treatments.” AKF merges this messaging in the letter with details about its financial breakdown — that “95 percent of all funds expended were used for Program Services benefiting kidney patients and their families …” — which validates the organization’s assertion that every nickel given it works hard.