Catholic Charities

Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington is a charitable organization with approximately 65 programs in 48 locations through Washington, DC and southern Maryland.

Marketing Challenge:
The organization had used direct mail for several years, but there were limited analytics, tracking, and a lack of compelling messaging.  CC-ADW came to H&J to build a profitable direct response program that could provide high quality leads for major and planned giving.

Application of Solutions:

  • H&J reviewed their data and developed a long-term system for data tracking and measurement.  This included policies and procedures in data management.
  • Using H&J List Services, we employed heavy list and creative testing to optimize new donor acquisition.  The effort included geographic testing, modeling, merge/purge criteria, seasonality and creative tailored to lists.
  • For cost efficiency, test packages in acquisition were versioned for the donor mailings and allowed us to monitor results of varying creative approaches.
  • Continued refinements in messaging, package design, and segmentation have produced a calendar of highly productive campaigns.
  • We developed highly segmented messaging and packaging, for varying audiences, with a special focus on mid-level donors whose giving ranged from $1,000 – $9,999.
  • We also integrated online efforts with the direct mail, including home page sliders/ graphics, e-appeals, online video, landing pages, blog entries, and social media postings.
  • H&J worked with CC-ADW’s internal departments to refine online and print media to compliment direct response efforts and produce additional fundraising revenue.
  • In 2010 we developed and launched the Living Faith Society, a monthly giving club.

The ResultsThe direct response program exceeds industry standards on all metrics.

  • Cost to acquire a new donor is recovered and produces a profit within 1 year.
  • Donor appeals cost to raise a dollar is only $0.15.
  • Over the past 5 years, acquisition average gifts amounts have increased from $35.56 to $57.23. And, donor gift amounts have increased from $65.58 to $91.89.
  • The Living Faith Society sustainer club has grown quickly and produces increasing revenues each year at a very low cost.
  • The direct mail donor file has more than doubled in 5 years and revenues are 7 times the original amount.


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