DOROT's Objective: Think Like the Donor
As simple as it sounds, the round, four-color glossy sticker of a plate of food lifted response and gave the control package the interactive feel DOROT was looking for all along.
“We thought it was a cool idea, but I couldn’t believe the difference the sticker made,” Sukol says.
The outer envelope
Another surprise came in the form of donor response, and not with a check.
DOROT’s outer-envelope treatment is as plain as it gets, with a single poly window, logo and address information on the back, and a straightforward teaser: “Meal Tickets Enclosed: Please Help Feed the Jewish Elderly.” When the package first rolled out, DOROT employed simply: “Meal Tickets Enclosed.”
“We received numerous complaints from donors who were embarrassed because they thought that their postal carrier would think they were receiving the meal tickets,” Sukol says, commenting on the decidedly older Jewish donor constituency. “They didn’t want anyone to think they were receiving charity. It was enough for us to add, ‘Please Help Feed the Jewish Elderly.’”
In September 2004, DOROT tested a new teaser, “Home Delivered Kosher Meals Urgently Needed,” but the current copy beat it handily.
Tweaks and tests
For the last three years, DOROT’s control package has been receiving an average response rate of 0.07, but its high average gift has kept costs down and actually netted the organization money on several occasions.
(For its September drop, DOROT received a 0.88 response rate with a $44.92 average gift.)
According to Sukol, DOROT recently tested rented lists of Jewish donors in the Florida area to mine for New York-area retirees and transplants. After only limited success, the campaign was discontinued.
As for future tests, Sukol says DOROT will try employing its teaser on the back of the outer envelope to see if its donors will respond any differently.