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Ballantine Helps Boost Dominican Friars Foundation Fundraising Efforts


Dominican Friars Foundation


Direct Mail Production

Achieved unprecedented direct mail acquisition response numbers

Dominican Friars Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in New York, NY that unifies the various fundraising efforts to support the Dominican Friars work for parishes, hospitals, college campuses and a variety of evangelization apostolates. At a time when many other non-profits are reducing the amount of investment in direct mail, particularly donor acquisition, the strategic team at Ballantine theorized that the nature of the organization and their case for support might make 2020 a particularly good time to invest in new donor acquisition.

  The Process

Because of economic uncertainty due to COVID-19 and other factors, it was recommended that direct mail acquisition testing take place at smaller quantities, spread around the summer months, to minimize exposure with any one particular mailing. The summer months were deemed a good time to mail in 2020 because 1) people were home and 2) there tends to be less competition in the mailbox during June and July.

Another advantage to mailing at smaller quantities was that lists could be selected very carefully. By working with data partners to optimize net file output of the merge/purge and co-op segments the best possible people can be mailed the acquisition package. 150,000 pieces were mailed in June, and another 100,000 in July. 

Unusual Elements

The strategic decision to conduct new donor outreach, even in these uncertain times, was a wise bet. The results were the best acquisition numbers the organization had ever had:

Total Pieces Mailed: 250,000

Total New Donors: 2,519

Response rate: 1.01%

Total Revenue: $203,617

Total Expense: $127,512

NET INCOME: $76,105

Typically direct mail acquisition incurs an initial loss that pays back later through the renewal giving of the newly acquired donors. But in this case, the package, timing, and list selection were just right and the 2,519 new donors were profitable to the organization immediately!

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