Direct Mail Campaigns of the Year: World Vision & The National Humane Education Society
Hungry in America
Submitted by Russ Reid
Response Rate: 7 percent
Total Cost: $27,343
Income Generated: $140,635
Average Gift: $47.50
Cost to Raise a Dollar: $0.19
“If you care about children in Africa, Asia and the poorest, harshest places on the planet, call World Vision,” wrote Russ Reid’s Tamara Wolf. “But if you have a concern for Americans who suffer from hunger, homelessness and all the consequences of poverty, you are most certainly going to contact your local Rescue Mission or Food Bank.”
The challenge then for World Vision was how to engage donors and gain their support for the organization’s work here in the United States — basically to re-educate donors about the scope of the work that World Vision does.
“This campaign had to have more than a clutter-busting look and feel,” Wolf wrote. “It had to reverse perceptions about World Vision itself. On one hand, it needed to be clearly aligned with who this organization is and their driving mission. On the other hand, it had to destroy the assumption that World Vision is so globally focused that they are not the best choice for American aid.”
While the package focuses on Family Food Kits that, for $16, provide a family of five with three nutritious meals, and it includes a card to sign and return for a family receiving the donor’s gift, our judges were most impressed with the quality storytelling and compelling images — not to mention the dark and dirty red, white and blue color palette that was at the same time patriotic and somewhat unsettling.
The stories presented paint sad and disturbing pictures that are held together by “one thread of hope.” And that is World Vision’s decades of experience in bringing food and hope to needy people throughout the world. The copy first broke down donors’ hesitation to depend on World Vision’s global expertise to feed people in the United States and then used that same experience as a reason to support it — a fundraising coup d’état that turned an overwhelming weakness into a powerful strength.
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