Case Study: DM-fueled Patriotism Delivers for National WWII Memorial
Newsletters also were an important element in helping donors and prospects feel attached to the memorial. The whole campaign fed off of the “intangibility” of being a part of something historic — both the war and the memorial.
Keeping the buzz alive
Finally, Winchell said, the DM campaign kept its media feed going by including a pre-written letter that recipients were asked to sign and send to local newspapers and other media outlets. The letters asked for media coverage of the memorial project.
“It triggered hundreds of additional stories throughout the country,” Winchell said, “and really raised the national awareness of what was going on here. It played a key role in generating millions of dollars worth of ink, not just in the large papers, but the small ones, the weeklies, all the things are are read by veterans and others throughout the country.”
In the end, the memorial project brought in $195 million, Conley says. Of that, $16 million was federal money, and $15 million was from earned interest. The fundraising campaign grabbed $164 million, with a third of that coming from direct mail, he adds. Other donated income came from corporations, local sponsors and even schools where students collected “pennies, nickels and dimes” to the tune of $800,000 after appearances by World War II veterans.
The money raised was enough to cover the building costs and a nice endowment for the future, Winchell says, adding, “We were surprised at how well [the fundraising campaign] did.”
Adds Conley: “It was almost textbook in terms of how it all clicked.”