Our objective was simple:
- Create a gratitude report filled with donor love, thanking donors for their incredible support
- Share a story that demonstrates donor impact—how donors make the Oregon Zoo’s world-class conservation research, animal exhibits and educational programs possible
- Help donors feel inspired by the crucial role the Oregon Zoo plays in the community, and illustrate how donors are at the heart of the Zoo
Easy peasy, right?
A question that we get asked all the time is, “How do you get a (non-traditional) report like this approved by people who are comfortable with traditional approaches, strategies and executions?”
I would refer you to an older post about the 10 pillars of great relations between charities and consultants —but more often than not, it boils down to 3 things:
We spent a lot of time with the amazing team at Oregon Zoo, led by Charu Uppal and Julie Fitzgerald, talking about #donorlove, the role of a “Gratitude Report” vs an annual report, and why donors deserved a piece that told a common story in a non-traditional way.
I won’t lie. There were a lot of difficult conversations that were had—needed to be had—to get to the final result for this project. But change never comes easy.
And, the Zoo’s donors deserve it! As do your donors. They are tired of seeing and hearing the same old boring things from you.
Our concept was to create a picture/scrap book about Asian elephant conservation.
We were focused on showing donors a side of the Zoo they had never heard or seen before.
So, this is what we did.
Working with our designer and illustrator Veronica Davies, we used beautiful, “from the field” illustrations. Combined with copywriting by Rachel Zant and I, we told the story of Chendra, an endangered Borneo Pygmy Elephant, as it might be documented by a conservationist.
This project was one of my highlights of 2017. Oregon Zoo is perfectly poised to continue lavishly pouring #donorlove all over its members and donors through 2018 and beyond, and we were so appreciative to work with them on this project.
Please share this with your colleagues as you start to think about your next “Annual Report”. Can you craft an emotional “Gratitude Report” for your incredible donors instead?