Results: As well as generating lots of lovely fan mail, Greenpeace received an additional £16,000 in donations from people who were inspired by the organisation's honesty in offering the cash back.
Merits: A smart example of creative cheek, this really shows the truth in the old adage, "if you don't ask, you don't get."
This is one of a handful of fundraising communications that really broke the mould. It's famous because it was the first-ever pen pack, but it is much more than that. It's a moving, intelligent and beautifully put together case to support one of the world's great causes. The beauty of it is that everything is relevant and sincere. Nothing is gratuitous. This is the standard to which all direct-mail writers and designers should aspire.
Target audience: Individuals, regular gift
Origin: U.K. Date unknown
Summary/objectives: Donor acquisition
Background: Amnesty needed a powerful and effective means of recruiting new donors to its great cause. This was it. Creator of the pack Karin Weatherup remembers a letter from the time which said, "This pack has saved Amnesty's bacon." It was probably no exaggeration.
Special characteristics: For the first time, a real free plastic pen was enclosed with a fundraising mailing in the U.K.
Influence/impact: This was, as far as we know, the first-ever occasion when a free pen was included in an acquisition mailing, in the U.K. at least. So this was the pack that launched a fashion and a thousand (or more) rather inferior copies. But that doesn't do this innovative and hugely effective pack justice. It is also a beautifully crafted, brilliant and passionately written piece of communication — fundraising direct communication as it should be.
Results: So good that the pack was Amnesty U.K.'s banker for 10 years or more and was copied or adapted by many Amnesty International sections around the world.