And the Winners Are … the 2014 FundRaising Success Gold Awards for Fundraising Excellence
Multichannel (Less than $10 million)
Secret Guide to Children’s Campaign
The St. Louis Children’s Hospital Foundation
(Submitted by The St. Louis Children’s Hospital Foundation)
Response rate: 1.47 percent
Total cost: $89,800
Income generated: $103,117.73
Average gift: $77.60
Cost to raise a dollar: $0.87
There were guffaws all around as our judges looked through this submission from the St. Louis Children’s Hospital Foundation. Always a good sign.
Not that humor is necessarily a hallmark of a great campaign, but when done right it can elevate the effort to award-winning status.
Although it is a multichannel campaign using direct mail, email and a social-media element, this submission’s reach alone wasn’t what earned it its honor here. More impressive was how it found numerous ways to present its consistent message. The theme — missives from Josh, a 16-year-old patient at the hospital, offering “insider” information about the facility — stayed consistent throughout the elements of the campaign, but each of the six mailings, one year-end piece, an email and a Facebook page seemed fresh and unique.
Plus the humor didn’t hurt. Josh’s personality and perspective on life are real, his voice is his own, and he was able to paint donors and potential donors a genuine picture of how much their support means to a real patient and his real family.
“Because Josh’s stay in the hospital plus his ongoing treatment have been so extensive and put him in contact with so many facets of the hospital, we focused each mailing around a different area that the foundation wanted to highlight,” explains Angie Winschel, a partner at Almanac, the design and branding firm that worked on the campaign.
Each of the pieces featured casually written side notes from Josh and offered tidbits of advice such as, “Order extra butter at every meal. Save them up for your mashed potatoes,” and, “Meet Toni (one of Josh’s favorite physical therapists). She’ll make ya work!”