By Kat McDaniel, Principal at MEDiAHEAD
Direct mail can be a highly effective way to solicit alumni gifts, the key is to make the package feel special. First and foremost, it should stand out from the often used letter and business sized envelope. It may cost more to produce, but the return on investment will pay off.
Rockhurst High School made their appeal much more personal by placing a variable class image and copy on the cover of the mailer that represented the alumni’s year of graduation. They appealed to the alumni and their classmates, because they knew first hand the benefit of a Rockhurst education, to help them give that same gift to the next generation.
The mailer was sent in a clear envelope so that the recipient could immediately see the variable image and copy, making it more likely to be opened. A personalized letter and return envelope were also included in the mailing.
The quality of the package was so high that when prospects received it they knew that they were part of an exclusive and important group, it made them feel special.
The mailing raised over $100,000 the first week.
Leadership gift donors are some of higher education’s most important constituents, and the way you go about asking them to increase or renew their support can be a delicate process.
No doubt, the most effective way to solicit a leadership gift is through a face-to-face conversation. But, when that’s not possible, customizing your direct mail appeals with personal touches can go a long way toward making those donors feel important and helping to guarantee that your message stands out and generates your desired response.