2012 Fundraising Campaign of the Year

H&J’s Leader Dogs For the Blind poster package won three awards: a gold MAXI award, a platinum MAXI award, and Fundraising Success Magazine’s Fundraising Campaign of the Year award.

Recipients: 26,449

Response: 10.25 percent

Total Cost: $14,770

Income Generated: $124,200

Average Gift: $45.81

Cost to Raise a Dollar: $0.12

Here is what Fundraising Success Magazine’s Margaret Battistelli Garder wrote about the package:

“The Campaign of the Year award winner is a perfect example of a point Gold Awards judge Dane Grams made in his introduction. It’s a fairly simple package, especially considering that last year’s winner included a thin balsa wood airplane! In this year’s winner, all you’ll find is a letter, reply device and poster.

But judge Pamela Grow summed up our feelings about this package in four simple words: “It has it all!” It sure does — from the darling outer with the cut-out photo of a happy pup, to the charmingly simple letter, to the package’s crowning glory . . . a huge, folded poster with headshots of the organization’s graduating class of 2011. And on the back, there’s a diary-style Leader Dog’s story written, of course, from the dog’s point of view.

“From start to finish, this appeal relied on the admirable and adorable Leader Dogs themselves to engage donor interest and stimulate response,” wrote Huntsinger & Jeffer’s Mary Richardson. “The centerpiece was a full-sized poster that presented, in yearbook style, the faces of all 170 canine graduates from the past year — the Leader Dogs for the Blind graduating class of 2011. On the poster back, the extensive process and work involved in becoming a Leader Dog was described, diary style, in text and photos.”

Our judges liked that the poster served as both a premium that any dog lover would appreciate and, at the same time, as an informative piece that explained the work of the organization and presented its case for continued support.

“It’s a terrific premium. The poster is the heart of the package,” judge Paul Bobnak said. “It’s a terrific replacement for the usual package elements — brochure, buckslips, etc.” Richardson explained that results on this mailing exceeded those of all previous fall appeal mailings, as well as those of any others mailed in 2011, with a response rate that was 21.7 percent higher than that of the second-best appeal of the year. Production costs were minimized by mailing the same version of the appeal to all of the recipients, she said, since the untested concept went to all active and lapsed donors.

“With such overwhelmingly positive donor response,” Richardson concluded, “the Graduation Poster appeal will become an annual tradition.” We can certainly see why!”

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