The 10th Annual Gold Awards for Fundraising Excellence
Renewal Annual Operating Budget Under $10 Million
Boston Symphony Orchestra
Submitted by The Lukens Company
Response Rate: 30.59 percent
Total Cost: $1,311
Income Generated: $83,887
Average Gift: $197.85
Cost to Raise a Dollar: $0.02
Cost to Acquire a Donor: $194.75 (net CTA)
Why It Won
In late 2014, the Boston Symphony Orchestra (BSO) was set to increase membership dues. The organization had just added highly sought-after music director Andris Nelsons, and it had been 10 years since the last increase. With membership a primary source of revenue, it was critical for the organization to succeed in its renewal program.
So, in August 2014, BSO mailed an early renewal notice to members outside its current renewal series—a sort of last chance to renew before the pending price increase. The simple mailing (an outer, a one-page letter and a CRE) didn’t rely on lots of dire warnings or flashy fonts to let members know that a rate increase was in the works. Rather, it built a simple case for renewal and offered a clear explanation for why the price increase was needed. The back of the letter listed current rates with the accompanying benefits for each membership level.
The campaign was mailed to 1,386 recipients for a mere $1,311, but generated $83,887 from a massive 30.59 percent response rate. With a cost to raise a dollar of just $0.02, the campaign was a big winner with our judges.