High Touch With Low Gloss
Because most of the mailings I write about for this column are basic packages such as membership renewals, holiday campaigns, annual-fund appeals and acquisition pieces, this high-touch mailing from the ACLU to some of its existing members for its Legacy Challenge really jumped out at me.
Mailed in a plain, white No. 10 envelope, this mailing is thorough in its presentation of the Legacy Challenge. The three-page, 8.5-inch-by-11-inch letter lays out the initial ask and how the program works. If the recipient provides for a bequest to the ACLU in her will or trust, 10 percent of the bequest will be matched by a fellow supporter of the organization.
One of the key best practices when creating a special-donor group or making a special-donation request such as this is to give it a name. ACLU gets this right with the campaign name, Legacy Challenge. And those who leave bequests become members of the DeSilver Society.
The organization also is forthright in announcing in the letter that, so far, the Legacy Challenge has generated more than $2.1 million in matching funds, a trust-building strategy that also demonstrates the impact these donations are making.
At the end of the letter the organization announces that there is a time limit; the offer ends on Dec. 31. And the P.S. directs those recipients with questions about the challenge to call and speak with “Michael Pohlmann, our Senior Gift Planning Officer.” After listing his number, the copy continues, “I know he’d be glad to hear from you.”
Other elements in the mailing are a 3.5-inch-by-8.5-inch Legacy Challenge Quick Guide on card stock. The guide is an easy-to-keep element that answers key questions such as: “What is the Legacy Challenge?”; “How does it work?”; “I decided to make a bequest. How should it be written in my will?”; and “Can you suggest a lawyer near me?” It includes the toll-free number to reach the ACLU planned-giving staff and a Legacy Challenge-specific URL, www.legacy.aclu.org. There also is a second 3.5-inch-by-8.5-inch element that recipients can mail in to the ACLU to get more information on the Legacy Challenge, estate planning and charitable giving, etc. The final element of the mailing is an 8.5-inch-by-11-inch Legacy Challenge Matching Form. Rather than cram copy onto the usual size reply device, ACLU spreads its offer out. The result is an ask that feels more natural and less rushed.