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Family Connections
End of Year Appeal 2013

Services Used: Strategy, Direct Mail

Client Situation

Not getting the results they had been wanting on their end of year fundraising appeal, Family Connections needed to do something different.  As with most non-profits, Family Connections was working off a shoe-string budget and wanted to use the money as wisely as possible.  They desired a major change but were hard-pressed to come up with a solution on their own.


A campaign such as this requires a solid foundation: a strong donor database and strategic thinking about how to communicate with your constituency. We analyzed Family Connections’ database with their staff in order to identify some small, inexpensive changes that could be audited and modified along the way to improve results. We also felt it important to improve the ease of giving for prospective donors, so a reconfiguration of their response materials was needed.


The first step to improving communications was to segment their database into two groups: Board Member contacts and internal contacts, each receiving a different letter. Letters to Board contacts were sent to the client for final fulfillment by members personally, and those going to the organization’s internal contacts were sent out by Action. We scrapped their old reply envelope replaced it with a variable reply card with an image-based design, and utilized a simple reply envelope to send back.  A call-out line was added to the outside of the envelope in order to draw more attention Family Connections’ appeal in the sea of year-end letters that inundate their donors’ mailboxes.


By doing some slight changes on the envelope, making the reply card more visual, and being more relevant in the messaging we helped increase Family Connections’ new donors by 59% over the prior year as well as showing an increase in total donors and dollars raised.


increase in donors from previous year