The 10th Annual Gold Awards for Fundraising Excellence
Special Appeal Operating Budget $10 Million or Over
Fall Matching Gift Campaign
Submitted by DMW Fundraising
Response Rate: 3.89 percent
Total Cost: $8,966
Income Generated: $44,894
Average Gift: $105.14
Cost to Raise a Dollar: $0.19
Why It Won
Asking for additional dollars from already-paid members isn’t always easy, but the Philadelphia Zoo was up to the task. Built around the zoo’s Faris Challenge—a challenge fund established in 2011 that matches donations dollar for dollar—this 2014 matching gift campaign leveraged news of four new lion cubs born at the zoo to get members to open their checkbooks.
The cute factor (lots of pictures of the lion cubs, starting with the #10 outer) certainly helped here, but the letter also reminded members of the other work done by the zoo, and how a matched gift makes a bigger difference. It also listed on its reverse side and on a separate donation card how various gift amounts would be allotted—“$100 buys 100 lbs. of apples for our animals in the African Plains,” for example—allowing members to draw a clear path between donation and impact. All told, the campaign boasted a healthy 3.89 percent response rate, generating $44,894 for a total cost of 8,966.