The 10th Annual Gold Awards for Fundraising Excellence
Direct Mail House Annual Operating Budget Under $10 Million
November 2014 Holiday Appeal
Catholic Charities Archdiocese of Washington
Submitted by DaVinci Direct
Response Rate: 10.36 percent
Total Cost: $9,423
Income Generated: $62,546
Average Gift: $73.24
Cost to Raise a Dollar: $0.15
Why It Won
Catholic Charities Archdiocese of Washington (CCAW) was experiencing a decline in response during peak fundraising season, and Steve J. Maggio had a theory as to why. “Past Christmas campaigns featured many religious images and dark colors,” said Maggio, president and chief creative officer for DaVinci Direct. “Our client mailed address labels one time the previous year, and the response rate was very low. They were hesitant on using this type of premium again.”
Maggio and his team believed a more festive look was in order for CCAW’s 2014 campaign. They scrapped the old address label designs, replacing them with winter and Christmas images in bright red and green colors, and branded the campaign with a “Christmas Appeal” logo. The team also updated the copy to make it more personal, adding multiple uses of “you” and “your” throughout the letter.
It worked. The appeal generated a 10.04 percent response rate and exceeded the projected response rate by 43.43 percent. It was a 46.95 percent increase in response over the campaign’s 2013 numbers—a major victory for CCAW and DaVinci Direct.