A Compelling Case for Monthly Giving
What's not to love about a monthly giving program, right? It's a reliable source of steady money and very efficient compared to other types of fundraising programs. But acquiring new monthly donors isn't a snap for most nonprofits, and monthly giving programs can be a struggle to launch — especially on a small budget.
I rarely receive monthly giving invitations by mail, but that's not surprising since many nonprofits find telemarketing yields much better results, at least until they can afford to try direct-response television.
Child-sponsorship groups have used DRTV for decades to attract new monthly donors, with enviable success. But one of those organizations is including direct mail in its acquisition efforts, interestingly.
While it can't compare to the experience of a television spot, Plan USA's sponsor-acquisition package is an innovative standout in the mail.
The piece looks like a manila file folder, complete with a die-cut tab printed with "ALEX — AGE 12, AFRICA" and has a handwritten list of dates, each followed by "no sponsor available." The folder-like outer is spot-glued shut, as is the right panel inside, creating a pocket to hold the letter, reply, BRE and an insert.
Inside on the left, below a colorful world map, two columns of copy describe the organization and what it does. On the right, actors Beau Bridges, Laurie Metcalf and Dan Futterman offer celebrity testimonials beneath their photos. Bridges' quote says he's been a Plan USA sponsor for more than 27 years, an impressive endorsement. Metcalf is the spokesperson in Plan's television spot, and her quote is straight out of the ad, reinforcing the DRTV messaging.
As a whole, the letter is well-crafted, although I'd change the opening. It reads: "Since I became CEO of Plan USA — one of America's largest child-sponsorship organizations — new supporters who want to make a tangible difference in the lives of some of the world's poorest children have expressed many different priorities."