The May 2010 issue of our ‘Sample of the Month’ case study features our non-profit client Associated Humane Societies and their success with 6×9 return address label packages. We handle the printing and mailing of these projects.
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The Associated Humane Societies/Popcorn Park is the largest animal sheltering system in New Jersey comprised of 3 animal shelters, 2 complete veterinary facilities, and Popcorn Park, a strictly rescue sanctuary for exotics, birds, wildlife and farm animals who faced abandonment, neglect, cruelty, exploitation or even death. AHS/Popcorn Park is a non-profit organization.
For this case study, we interviewed Jeanne Balsam, Associated Humane Societies’ creative consultant. Jeanne is a Graphic Designer and illustrator, with extensive experience in fundraising for non-profits, and also operates a web business specializing in art of the French Bulldog!
Question 1: Last year’s label package mailing featured areas where donations were needed i.e. new x-ray machine, etc. But this year’s mailing featured success stories instead. Do you find the success stories approach works better?
I think I’d have to say yes to that because 78% of donors last year checked the box that let AHS decide where to best use the donation rather than specifically selecting where they’d like their donation applied! So this year, we’ve returned to something that’s always worked – fabulous success stories of animals AHS/Popcorn Park has rescued.
Question 2: You print the reply card w/ address block on the same sheet as the return address labels. Was this suggested by us to save money on the extra costs you would incur from a match mailing if the reply card was separate from the labels?
This was actually how we first set up our label package and I really like the all-in-one concept. It remains efficient in several ways. Most importantly, the donor is looking at our labels while handling the response card at the same time — a good connection. We can carry the theme/colors of the label sheet and/or package easily throughout the complete page if we desire, plus it is an efficient way for staff to record donations when the top portion is returned. Donors also tend to make an address correction on the reply portion if necessary.
Question 3: What is the general strategy of these label mailings that you think helps generate donations?
I firmly believe that our donors respond to the fact that all animals featured in our fundraising pieces are all animals that were rescued by AHS and/or Popcorn Park. We never use stock photos of animals. When donors see our pieces, they are always looking at animals they have read about and maybe even support and visit.
I also think people are responsive to the many accomplishments AHS/Popcorn Park continues to make in giving animals in dire straits a second chance. The letter gives donors the opportunity to read success stories which they help support through their contributions — they can feel good about their donations! Plus good design always helps.
Question 4: I know we just mailed out the 2010 label packages, but can you share any response stats from last year’s mailing to give us a general idea of how these packages perform?
The ROI was very positive. Last year’s label mailing had an 8.6% response rate with an average gift of $24.39.
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