Alicia Orr Suman

For the Heritage Foundation, a conservative public policy “think tank” based in Washington, D.C., a typical budget is to mail 4 million to 5 million pieces. “We have a rough budget, but how much we mail depends on the year. For this year, plans are to mail 6 million pieces, looking to build on the opportunities created by the economy and the election year,” says Carsten Walter, director of membership programs for the organization. In mailing, Heritage follows a multi-level approach, the key determinant of which is the initial gift size, Walter says. “The higher initial gift size is obviously more desirable,” he explains.

Fundraisers who think that donors to a capital campaign wouldn’t be interested in supporting their organization otherwise often are missing out on a valuable funding source. Development personnel are finding that, like the old adage says, all ships do, indeed, rise with the tide.

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