FINCA’s Mail Places Donors in the Heart of Its Story
A direct-mail package’s letter helps transport the donor to the heart of this group’s mission.
Mailer Name: FINCA International
Date Mailed: April 2015 through December 2016
FINCA, which stands for the Foundation for International Community Assistance, fights poverty with microfinancing. Founded in 1984, it has 21 affiliates around the world.
First, this fundraising effort stands out beginning with its outer. It uses a plain white, closed-face window envelope with the old-fashioned red, white and blue “airmail border” and a metered indicia.
Like one version of Amnesty International’s classic “Message of Hope” control, this tactic gets attention. For a moment, until the reader sees the name on the back flap, it’s not obvious who mailed it.
Next, the four-page letter inside continues the international theme. The airmail border appears again in the first page’s top and bottom margins. And a passport entry stamp in the body of the letter adds to the atmosphere.
It tells the story of Benita, a woman in Malawi who got access to credit in a challenging culture. Her first loan, it says, “was miniscule, just $25. But it changed everything.”
She then provided for her family by starting several businesses. Much of the letter focuses on how microloans mean big improvements in the lives of so many people.
But it also makes it clear that donors deserve credit for making it happen. “[Y]ou make it possible for FINCA to come to places like Malawi to change those odds for women,” the letter states.
Using short sentences, it breaks down how the loans funded by FINCA donors help provide solutions. Examples include better shelter, investments in materials and food. And one panel includes testimonials from celebrities praising FINCA’s approach.
Focus on the positive—how donors can play a big part in changing lives—when asking for support.