Camp Ooch is one of those magical charities you dream of working with and giving to.
It’s a camp in northern Ontario that exclusively services and helps kids with cancer, enjoy camp life.
It’s a safe place for them to play, find friends and enjoy the beautiful outdoors.
Our spring appeal told the difference the camp made on Matthew’s life and asked donors to help send other kids, just like him, to Camp Ooch this summer.
This could have been a typical appeal; #10 envelope, simple letter and a reply form for the donor to fill out and send back if they wished.
But we really wanted to take donors inside the camp, and experience a small part of the magic that many kids and families do.
We also wanted to create a version of this mailing that was sent to their mid-value donors to hopefully see a better response from those donors.
Here’s what we did:
The majority of donors received a 9″ x 6″ outer envelope. The mid-value and in house segments went out in a large 9″ x 12″ envelope, hand addressed with a first class stamp. Are both more expensive? Yes they are. But these envelopes stand out in the STACKS of #10, white envelopes your donors get every day. One key thing to note is that we didn’t use the logo of this organization anywhere in the whole of the pack – but there is no mistaking where the pack was coming from. We created a special wordmark for this campaign instead. This envelope is playful, visually interesting and asks more questions than provides answers. And the teaser – camp is right this way? I’m in.
Some donors only check their name on the front and read the PS before they make a decision to give or not. For the skimmers, we strategically use underlining and bolding to ensure that donors get plenty of feels and understand what the appeal is for. We always include a photograph of the letter signer so our donor can picture the human that is writing to them. It’s a small but important connection.
One of the amazing things that Ooch has done is to figure out some of the tangible costs to give a child a weekend at Camp Ooch or how much it might cost to provide some new board games to the campers. Having specific examples of what giving will do increases response rates and average gift. Your donor rarely understands what their $50 will do and why you need it.
Every appeal you send them should be like this – as specific as possible in what you are asking for and what it will do.
At the bottom of the front of the reply form, we ask donors to share a heartfelt message with the kids who will be at Camp Ooch this summer. This is such an important part of #donorlove – LET YOUR DONORS TALK TO YOU! Ask them how they feel, let them share why they care about your cause and express their values as a human. When you do, the most amazing things happen. We’ve shared some examples of this in the past. But have a look at this one:
Unbelievably, about 65% of the donations came back with feelings like this. Talk about engagement and #donorlove!
Aside from including a BRE (Business Reply Envelope) with every appeal, we also crafted three (yes, THREE) inserts to go with the pack.
We wanted to bring donors inside Camp Ooch beyond a few, out of context photographs that wouldn’t give you a sense of the place. We once again collaborated with the extraordinary Jessica Rae Gordon to help imagine camp life.
This was produced on an 8.5″ x 11″ sheet – but we created a larger 11″ x 17″ version for our mid-level and in house donors. Again, the cost to produce this goes up using a larger size, but when you acknowledge that 80% of your revenue comes from about 20% of your file, it is easy to make the case to spend more on the mailings you do for those folks. This was the back of the insert:
And finally we created two final inserts. The first was an insert from Matthew’s mom. Designed to look like a diary entry, it contains human touches all over it. Paperclips, hand underwriting, smiley faces… It can dive into the story of Matthew from his mom’s perspective. Her words really inspired so much of this appeal. Every segment got this piece in their pack.
The final insert was from Matthew. This was included in the pack that went to the mid-level and in house segments. We also decided to paper clip it to the thank you letter we sent to donors after receiving their gift.
The insert was in his words and what going to camp meant to him. These extra pieces may seem like overkill and unnecessar,y but your amazing donors get to hear many different perspectives on why their giving matters and they all effect the overall response and average gift – in a positive way of course.
This mailing exceeded expectations in many ways. Donors had never heard from Camp Ooch this way before nor had they received such an in-depth (and creative) look at the impact of their giving.
They had two donors respond with $5K gifts and as we expected, about 80% of their revenue came in from their mid-value and in house segments. They had a 30% increase in gifts, a jump of 40% in revenue and the average gift went up over 200%. We think that is extraordinary and really does speak to the magic of Camp Ooch and the generosity of its donors. <3 #donorlove