By Kat McDaniel, Principal at MEDiAHEAD.
I started working with The Mission Project this year because my stepson is autistic and participates in their program.
The Mission Project allows adults with disabilities to live independently in their own apartments in Mission, Kansas. The Mission Project’s vans drive them to their jobs, one of the requirements of the project. They also receive classes offering social skills and coaching to live a successful life within the community.
In previous years, they mailed out the standard letter, envelope and reply card to previous donors. Unfortunately, last year they only raised $3,800 which didn’t even cover the cost of the printing and postage.
This year, because all the participants of The Mission Project live in Mission, we decided to appeal to residents who are familiar seeing them in the community. We purchased a list of the one mile area around their community center, with a household income at a certain level and an age range of 35 to 65 years old.
Our art director designed a colorful 8 ½ x 16 letter with lots of photos of the residents and we mailed it in a colorful 6 x 9 envelope with a return envelope. We also purchased a website URL for a landing page where they could donate online – AGoodFriendHelpsOthers.com.
I’m happy to report that we helped The Mission Project raise over $22,000!
For our annual appeal campaign this year, we set a goal to collect $15,000 in net profit (after expenses). As I mentioned earlier, we raised a little over $3,800 last year. We decided to donate the printing and list research costs and only charged the actual postage for mailing the requests for donations. After expenses of only $1,096.41 we raised $22,431.59!
Personalization is so important in today’s giving climate. People want to feel that they personally connect with the causes they’re donating to. By highlighting a neighbor that they see around Mission – Ellen for example, who has one of the biggest smiles you’ll ever see – we were able to increase donations and increase community awareness for all the participants.
You can learn more about the Mission Project by visiting www.themissionproject.org!