McPherson Associates and UMCOR Win DMAW MAXI Award
Press release (Aug. 9, 2012) — For the second consecutive year, fundraising agency McPherson Associates Inc. has captured a DMAW MAXI Bronze Award for excellence and innovation in nonprofit direct marketing.
The award was announced at a ceremony earlier this week hosted by the Direct Marketing Association of Washington and held at the Gaylord National Convention Center in National Harbor, Md.
This year's award was in partnership with the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) in the nonprofit special appeal category. The mailing's ultimate goal was to maximize giving in support of UMCOR's U.S. disaster relief efforts, and it netted a 6.76 percent response — more than double the response from the previous year's campaign. The average gift was also nearly $33 higher than the previous year.
"We are thrilled to be working with UMCOR to raise funds to support their relief work in the United States, as well as their other initiatives worldwide," said McPherson Principal and COO Carol Leister. "This package was created in the beginning of our engagement with them. As partners, by looking at their strong messages and powerful images a little differently, we were able to develop this very successful, award-winning effort."
UMCOR has been at work for over 70 years providing humanitarian aid around the world. Focusing on but not limited to natural disaster relief, UMCOR is on the ground helping rebuild shattered lives, bringing hope for the future. United Methodists turn to UMCOR, widely known for channeling 100 percent of the funds raised directly to designated project (overhead costs are raised through other efforts) to support relief efforts in times of need.
The envelope design for the UMCOR US Disaster Relief Campaign was created to tell this story. Placing the window under the envelope flap allowed the use of an uninterrupted image of what UMCOR teams face when they hit the ground on the reverse side. A picture of the solution UMCOR provides appears under the flap. The teaser on the envelope encouraged people to help with the solution.
The mail package for the U.S. Disaster Relief Campaign was part of a larger effort to create a new look for UMCOR fundraising communications, taking advantage of the image bank they have built after setting a policy that all photos used in UMCOR communications must be taken by people affiliated with the organization (photographers, staff and volunteers). The two-color design, using the "UMCOR Red," features the powerful brand and the moving images that the organization is known for.
"Any time you win an award for the hard work you do, you have to be pleased," said Tim Oleary, McPherson Principal and CEO. "In this case, knowing how much the good fundraising response directly touches people's lives makes it all worthwhile and that much more rewarding. We are proud and appreciative of the efforts of everyone who was a part of this highly-successful campaign."