How these MAXI Award winners did it

The DMAW has presented its 2020 MAXI Awards.  We wanted to congratulate some of the winning organizations Moore companies have had the pleasure of serving and offer some thoughts on why these were winning campaigns.

Gold winners

Daughters of the American Revolution: Commemorative Scarf Campaign

Daughters of the American Revolution has such a deep and rich history and connects so many women around the world. I am so glad we were able to showcase a piece of the organization’s history in this special appeal that members will cherish forever. The enormous success of the commemorative scarf campaign goes to show how inspiring creative takes fundraising programs to a new level.” – Kim Harmon, Senior Strategy Director

The historic banquet hall for the Daughters of the American Revolution was in need of renovation. This room has played host to presidents, summits, and movie shoots and is an important source of rental income to DAR.

A special appeal to help refurbish the room was needed. We created a scarf in the same pattern as the iconic wallpaper in the room and used it as a limited-edition front-end premium. The scarf was a tangible reminder of each Daughter’s participation in this campaign and restoration project.

Response rate to the campaign was almost 20% and it lifted revenue by more than 40% over budget. Moreover, the Daughters were fans of the scarves, posting about them on social media and creating additional engagement.

Shriners Hospital for Children Giving Tuesday Campaign

“We are blessed to serve Shriners Hospitals for Children®. Each year, I am overwhelmed by the outpouring of support from Shriners Hospitals for Children’s generous donors as well as the sincere gratitude from the children and families they serve.” – Margaret Chialastri, Vice President, Digital Services

Shriners Hospital for Children has had increasing success with their Giving Tuesday campaigns. However, Moore’s Neuro-Fundraising Lab(R) found that most donors didn’t know what Giving Tuesday was. SHC also wanted to expand the appeal as an acquisition strategy.

The Giving Tuesday campaign that resulted was truly multi-channel, including not only traditional digital means like email, paid and organic social media, their web site, YouTube, and search engine marketing, but influencer marketing, corporate partnerships, and hospital toolkits. The aim was to increase knowledge of what Giving Tuesday was, as well as to make the emotional case for SHC.

One important aspect of the campaign was a custom animated video that described what Giving Tuesday was and how it directly affected the children at Shriners Hospitals for Children. We deployed the video on the website and drove traffic through organic search, YouTube pre-roll advertising, and an email to the full file. The use of the video prior to campaign kickoff increased awareness of the campaign and primed the audience for upcoming appeals.

The resulting campaign increased revenue by 45% and donations by 50%, raising more support for kids in need.

St. Labre Christmas Stocking Bounce-Back Test

“St. Labre’s compassion and commitment to help the Northern Cheyenne and Crow Indian children realize their full potential is unparalleled.” – Erin Speier, ResourceOne Fundraising Group

St. Labre’s donors have a very unique bond with the Northern Cheyenne and Crow children who attend school and live at St. Labre.  One appeal that has truly built that bond included a musical Christmas Card of the children singing a Christmas carol – it melts your heart!  Rising costs to produce the musical card coupled with a new offer to ask donors to assist with providing a Christmas Stocking stuffed with gifts to every child, prompted the introduction of a “bounce back” component (a proven interactive element) designed to be inserted into a child’s stocking for an equally “feel-good” response for the donor.  This Christmas Stocking Bounce Back Card allowed the donor to write a special message, sign and return with a donation to share the Spirit of Christmas with an Indian child who might not otherwise celebrate Christmas. 

Not only did we reduce cost by 54% we also increased our average gift by $0.48 yielding a full 127% increase in net revenue!

Toys for Tots: Just Say Thank You

“Knowing the importance of thanking and stewarding our donors, our objective was to find a way to show them gratitude (and secure another gift!) before we “went quiet” following the Christmas holiday. But the only time-frame to do so was during our all-important year-end appeal.

Our immediate objective was to create a new package that would express our gratitude to donors and produce donations while significantly increasing response rates for our final mailing of the year—an appeal which consistently generates over $1,000,000 annually. The long-term objective was to improve first-year and second-year retention rates.

The year-end control mailing is an urgent appeal that stresses the importance of making one, final donation to save a child’s Christmas — a highly cost effective #10 package.

Our testing strategy was to make donors feel really appreciated and needed by developing a very personalized, donor-centric thank-you card package that would increase response rates by 12%. While the message in the card itself would only contain a soft request for a last-minute, year-end gift, the package would include a reply form containing a donor-giving-history-driven dynamic ask.

In the head-to-head test, we were thrilled when the Thank-You Card package increased response rates by a whopping 25.6%, more than double the goal we had set for ourselves. As a result of the increased response, gross revenue improved by almost 17% and net revenue improved by more than 14%.

While the softer ask and less-urgent messaging resulted in a decrease in the average gift and lower net revenue per donor these were short-term sacrifices we anticipated and were willing to make to be able to renew and retain 25% more donors!

Needless-to-say, we are hopeful and eager to see the longer-term impact that showing donors gratitude and making them feel valued has on retention rates.” -Julie Dixon, Creative Director, CDR Fundraising Group

Silver winners

St. Labre Gray GK Renewal

“One of the things that is so great about St. Labre is the donor cultivation experience – always reminds us and their supporters there is much to consider miraculous about the mission at hand.  They treat the families who support them as family.”  – Greg Stoddard, ResourceOne Fundraising Group

Like many organizations, St. Labre Indian School has found the summer months to be lackluster when it comes to its direct mail fundraising performance.  For the last appeal of the fiscal year, we set out to turn this around and create a donor renewal appeal that would generate at least a 6% response rate while improving net revenue.  With the philosophy of giving donors exactly what motivated them to contribute to St. Labre their very first time, our sights turned to the acquisition label package as the foundation for this new renewal campaign.  And since donors only receive two label packages in a given 12-month cycle, we felt the timing for this third label package was ideal. Knowing our donors have a great fondness for the Indian children they support, we included adorable kid illustrations into the label designs along with colorful Native American geometric border designs and shiny gold foil to increase perceived value.

This new renewal package resulted in a 110% increase in response rate and average gift!  By reaching a 6.42% response rate, it exceeded our goals.  Not only did the response rate perform at a stellar rate, we have also doubled the net income for this appeal over the last three years as well. 

St. Labre Christmas Ornament Test

“While this package is winning a Workhorse award for year-over-year strong performance, it is only a small reflection of the impactful, life-changing work done at St. Labre Indian School year-over-year since 1884.  It is a privilege to be a partner in fulfilling their mission.”  – Pam Creekmore, ResourceOne Fundraising Group

It has been a standing tradition at St. Labre Indian School to send donors a Christmas ornament each year to thank them for their continued support.  A new ornament design is introduced each year and promoted as a collectible keepsake.  A “bounce-back” component to this package is a paper version of each year’s ornament that is meant for the donor to add their own special message, sign it and return with their contribution.  One of these bounce-back pieces is then given to the student whose name is on the ornament and they are allowed to hang it on the school’s Christmas tree.  The challenge has been keeping this package format fresh and interesting even though it is virtually the same package each year, just with a different look. 

Not only has the average gift continued to increase, but we have also successfully increased net revenue to well over $1,000,000 for three consecutive years!

Bronze winners

Christian Appalachian Project: Spring Giving Spirit in Bloom campaign

Commemorative Air Force: Year-End Personalized Labels & Aircraft Cards Appeal Campaign

I’m extremely proud of the work our team did to make this campaign for the Commemorative Air Force extremely successful! This appeal included exciting and unique elements that honored World War II and personally connected donors to the organization through flight logs. The inspiring creative and compelling messaging was the cherry on top of a very successful year for Commemorative Air Force’s fundraising program.” – Tim Youngbar, Senior Strategy Director, Edge Direct

Commemorative Air Force’s year-end labels package was a strong control for them. With the 75th anniversary of V-E Day coming up, CAF was going to fly some of its planes in the recognition ceremony on the National Mall, which was a great messaging opportunity.

With that in mind, we included personalized name and address labels featuring a variety of vintage CAF aircraft, in addition to three aircraft cards showcasing popular CAF airplanes: C-47 That’s All, Brother®, B-29 FIFI® and B-17 Texas Raiders. The aircraft cards included stunning photos on the front and airplane specifications and copy on the reverse side, communicating the historical significance of these warbirds. This helped boost CAF’s educational efforts in addition to making a more valuable premium. Donors were also given the opportunity to make a $75 gift to be on the 75th anniversary flight log.

The campaign increased revenues by more than 40%, with a response rate of nearly 9% and average gift jumping up as donors wanted to be on the commemorative flight log.

National World War II Museum: Flame of Freedom

“It is a privilege for me to work with The National World War II Museum because my spouse is a service member and three of my grandparents served in World War II. I am so thankful for the sacrifices those who served during WWII made for the freedom we enjoy today. The Flame of Freedom Campaign gave Museum donors the opportunity to come together, build a tangible item, and show their support and appreciation.” – Gwynn McCormick-Livingston, Senior Strategy Director, Edge Direct

June 6, 2019, was the 75th anniversary of a day when 4400 people gave their lives to liberate a continent from genocidal tyranny: D-Day, the beginning of invasion of Normandy. The National World War II Museum wanted to do a special exhibit for this turning point in human history honor all who gave some on those beaches and especially those some who gave all.

We added a new appeal to the schedule that featured a small candle that asked the donor to return it along with a generous gift, in order to build a large commemorative candle. This is symbolic of the donors’ desire to be a part of something larger. That candle would then be lit on the beaches of Normandy on the 75th anniversary. The letter/donation card featured the affixed candle wax and described a heart-wrenching account of Private First Class Harold Baumgarten, D-Day survivor and loyal Museum advocate.

This generated more than 8,000 donations over and above normal membership renewals, raising $178K in new net revenue to help build the exhibit. Just as important, those WWII veterans working with the museum appreciated the message and the recognition of their sacrifice and that of those fallen.

Toys for Tots: Ask and You Shall Receive Santa

TWR: North Korea Acquisition Package

“When a strong offer (provide a radio for $40) is combined with a unique format that visually demonstrates impact, amazing things can happen. In this case, the Radios for North Korea offer has become their new control package – not only delivering unprecedented response but average gifts twice those of the previous control.  

For 72 years, TWR has been broadcasting God’s message of hope into some of the hardest to reach areas of the world. After a decades-long partnership, they chose ResourceOne Fundraising Group to help them meet their growing opportunities.” – Mark Loux, ResourceOne Fundraising Group

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