Case Study: Ask and Receive
The tone of the new-donor, second-gift mailing copy is warm — even personal. As for messaging, “We always try to talk about a life changed … the work of the food bank is the most important thing to exemplify to each donor what [his or her] gift has done,” Rohrbach says.
Year one, new-donor communications
Of course, the new-donor, second-gift mailing is just one part of Maryland Food Bank’s year one, new-donor solicitations. It is actually the second communication a new donor receives following her donation. The first is a thank-you letter that is produced and mailed by Maryland Food Bank staff, usually within two weeks of the time the donation is made.
The thank-you letter is mailed in a No. 10 window envelope with a Maryland Food Bank return address. For donations in excess of $100, the letter is sent in a closed-face envelope. And donors who give $500 or more, whether acquisition or renewals, receive a printed letter that includes a handwritten note from Flateman.
Roughly two weeks after the thank-you acknowledgement hits, new donors receive the second-gift mailing. Then, a month or two later, they’re inserted into the normal contact cycle.
Craycraft says new donors typically receive between four and six renewal letters in the first year. Timing of mailings is closely monitored to avoid any negative impact, and renewal letters are typically sent four to six weeks apart.
“Each letter has a different offer and tells the donor about a different food bank program, allowing them to see the scope of the services the food bank provides for hungry Marylanders,” Craycraft explains.
A rebound in retention
Response rates for Maryland Food Bank’s retention mailings range from 8.5 percent to 13.5 percent, depending on the time of the year. Craycraft says response rates to renewal mailings have not been affected by the introduction of the mailing.