The Project: when Children’s Memorial Hospital started planning their move to a new location, the Foundation realized they had a lot of events to plan (at least 14). While some of these events were for everyone, many were targeted to specific constituents – donors, doctors, volunteers, etc. Instead of bombarding the invitees with mulitple mailings, they created a unique piece that encapsulated all the different events.
The hitch – not everyone was invited to all the events. In addition, the lists for the events were coming from multiple sources in many different formats, many with duplicate entries.
The piece – the “mothership” contained the information about the new facilities and services that the new location would offer. In a pocket, different inserts were included based on what events each person was invited to attend.
The challenge on the data end was to convert all the lists provided to a common format. Then, the lists needed to be combined and duplicates removed, while still keeping track of which events each person was invited to attend. While some of the duplicates were easy (Jim Smith and James Smith both at 123 Main Street were the same person), some were much more difficult as some lists pulled from home addresses, some from work addresses and others had spouses names on the lists. Rescigno’s worked together with the Children’s Memorial team to get the lists in tip top shape.
Finally, the production team needed to know how to assemble the different invites. The data and production teams worked together to create segments of invites receiving the same inserts as well as a group of special people who all had different configurations.
The end result: highly customized invitation packets. Even better, the client reported absolutely no mistakes! We’d love for you to share similar challenges that you’ve encountered and their solutions.
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Are you about to start a direct mail or annual fund campaign? Do you know what your objectives are but aren’t sure where to begin?
Join Rescigno’s Marketing Connections on Tuesday July 24th at 3pm Eastern for our webinar titled,
“Jump Start Your Direct Mail (and Annual Fund Program)… NOW!”
During this webinar, the key points you will takeaway are:
- by planning, you’ll know what your desired result is;
- setting a goal and taking steps to attain it;
- talking to your audience the “right” way;
- the art of the story in solicitation;
- timing — it really is important;
- eye appeal could be the difference;
- understanding what just happened;
- tracking results
To register for the webinar, follow this link:
We hope you can attend!
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The Annual Fund campaign is the nonprofit’s bread and butter. It’s literally what keeps everything running—maintaining your building’s heating and lighting, supporting ongoing programs, providing for your staff, and, most crucially, establishing and growing a loyal donor base.
Summer is the prime time to create a plan for your Annual Fund campaign. Are you ready to embark on this process? Give yourself a check-up against these three initial steps to get you going.
1. Consider the parameters: Analyze your organization’s needs, goals, and resources. Evaluate past programs or initiatives—which have done well, and which could use some revamping?
2. Design your strategy: Determine your calendar and the specific efforts you’re going to pursue.
3. Make projections: What will these efforts generate? What do you expect to accomplish? And remember that the return on your investment should be measured in more than just dollars.
Need help jumpstarting your organization or foundation’s Annual Fund Campaign? The team at Rescigno’s has decades of non-profit development work under our belt. Craving a new approach? From planning to production, we’re committed to providing creative solutions.
Further reading: 11 Strategies for Increasing Annual Fund Donations
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It’s simple, but oh so subtle. Here is the litmus test: ask yourself if the donor is in your story after you complete the first draft of your next solicitation. Why? Because we talk a lot about passionate storytelling being the key to better response rates in your direct mail solicitations.
Personal stories of one person’s situation can be very good at explaining and educating, but that doesn’t mean that they will compel readers to act. For that to happen they have to see themselves as an essential part of the story, as if something won’t happen unless they act.
In other words, in stories that compel action, the donor can change the ending of the story with his or her actions.
Here are 4 ways to do this based on why people give:
1-to feel happy – “You’ll not only be supporting our work, you’ll know you changed a life.”
2- to feel important – “Give today to become a member and get insider info and updates.”
3- to feel like part of a success story – “We saved the savannah elephant. We can save the Asian elephant too.”
4-because everyone is doing it – join Tim T. in Brookfield and Jim R. in Oak Park who are already committed to our fight.
In other words, in stories that compel action, donors can change the ending of the story with their actions.
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False: Trees are not direct mail. Printed communication is direct mail, but trees? No! Let’s get this straight once and for all so we can lay to bed this myth which we’re asked about from time to time. Sustainable forestry throughout North America has grown the amount of forested lands significantly in recent years, providing a steady, responsible supply of fiber used to make paper. Trees are harvested and replanted on a continuing basis . In fact, we have more forests in the United States than we did 50 years ago and about the same forest land in the U.S. as we had 100 years ago (U.S. Forest Resource Facts and Historical Trends). Old-growth forests are not harvested to make direct mail paper, and the marketplace is beginning to “certify” paper that originates from sustainably forested lands.
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