March 22, 2019

Non-profits sure know how to tug on heartstrings and one that is an absolute master at it is Best Friends Animal Society. They are the only national animal welfare organization dedicated to ending the killing of dogs and cats in America’s shelters. This emotional appeal is really another way of asking for the donation. Let’s take a closer look at a recent Best Friends donor appeal mailing.

Format: An outer 6” x 9” window envelope, along with an eight page 8.5x11” newsletter that was folded in half to 5.5” x 8.5”, a return envelope and a 8.5” x 14” appeal letter folded down to 5.25” x 8.5”.

Direct Mail Piece of the Week: Non-Profit Donor Appeal

Design: The most interesting aspect of the mailer was the use of photos throughout. The envelope was stunning with a photo of a puppy on the front and a photo of a kitten on the back. The newsletter featured photos of pets along with their story. The interior spread of the newsletter was a collage of baby animal photos and captions. The donor letter included a photo of a cat and her story. Many of these animals had health or socialization issues but with the help of Best Friends, they found a loving home. Best Friends used orange (same color as their logo) as headlines which really stood out.

Direct Mail Piece of the Week: Non-Profit Donor Appeal Direct Mail Piece of the Week: Non-Profit Donor Appeal

Printing & Paper: There weren’t any special printing techniques used, the stock was heavy enough and it arrived in good condition.

Presentation: Best Friends is using this direct mailer to drive donations.

Offer and Call to Action: The call to action is to help pets. The help can range from donating items from a wish list by type of animal. For example, bunnies need thick fleece, all terrain pet strollers, top loading pet carriers and carrot and dill rabbit treats. Donors can ship any of the items to Best Friends or can purchase them on Best Friends’ Amazon wish list. The other donation offer is to send in a monetary amount which can help fix a dog or cat, vaccinate pets, help a shelter pet find a forever home, provide bottle feedings for orphaned puppies, and wellness veterinary care. There was a special person listed to call for questions on the wish list or to discuss in-kind gifts and a special web address for online donations.

Direct Mail Piece of the Week: Non-Profit Donor Appeal

Digital technology integration: None but none was needed.

Personalization: The appeal ask was personalized to the level of donation I had made in the past and then a few tiers above, in hopes that I would increase my appeal.

After reading the materials and looking at the photos, it’s hard to say no to Best Friends!