Insert Success Story Here
“Over the years, the amount of money we’ve received is not substantial compared to our direct-mail returns,” Seader notes. “But it’s an opportunity to put ourselves in front of new and existing donors and raise money through another channel, at next to no cost.”
FAF draws an average donation of $34 through its Con Ed insert program, mainly in the form of personal checks from older donors, whereas direct mail fetches an average gift of $38.
“We like to keep the insert simple and generic, focusing on the needy children we send [to camp] every year,” Seader says, commenting on FAF’s broad-based appeal that includes a remittance envelope and features on the front a black-and-white photograph of two children, with the accompanying teaser, “Let inner-city kids view the world in wonderful new ways.”
Inside, FAF presents a three-paragraph letter signed by Executive Director Jenny Morgenthau in small, but readable, typeface:
“Glistening sunshine on a crystal clear lake … a deer pauses quietly in a still forest … the warm laughter with new friends … these are sights and sounds that can make a Fresh Air summer unforgettable for New York City’s poorest children.”
FAF makes a point to feature its Web site, www.freshair.org, in orange typeface below the ask string, but Seader says few respondents have made donations online. Those who do give, either through the Web or traditional mail, are placed in a direct-mail donor-renewal program that has been “very successful.”
Broaden your appeal
While FAF’s program requires little upfront investment, many development departments simply lack the time, expertise and funds needed to explore new fundraising techniques such as insert media. Many small to mid-sized fundraising shops work with an operating budget of anywhere between $2 million and $15 million. Insert media has yet to fly near their radars.