Congratulations to our direct response team for winning a 2019 Benny Award presented by the Philadelphia Direct Marketing Association. Our “Children’s Mercy Wish List Campaign,” led by Senior Director Kristin Serrano, was the top winner in the Direct Mail Fundraising/Non-Profit category. The year-end campaign was designed to increase response and revenue—year over year—utilizing compelling creative, patient stories and direct response strategies that resulted in a 92% increase in gifts and 76% increase in revenue.

This successful effort utilized a range of tactics including:

  • Mail – The campaign included an initial mailing and was expanded with a follow-up appeal, serving as a cost-effective reminder to donors that their year-end gift would be matched if received by 12/31.
  • Matching Gift – A $250,000 matching gift was secured and incorporated into all messaging.
  • Audience – Targets included annual fund, mid-level and major donors. The fundraising effort was expanded by also including sustainers, promoting upgrades and a special year-end request for support.
  • Urgency – There was a defined deadline—calendar year-end—building urgency from the initial mailing to the follow-up as the deadline approached.
  • Modeling – Annual fund active donors were modeled to identify those primed to upgrade. Those identified received a more aggressive appeal to move donors toward mid-level giving.
  • Creative – Unique patient stories were featured for annual fund, mid-level and major donors and sustainer-level supporters. The initial mailing included personal lift notes from dads of young patients along with a “Wish List” that creatively featured items needed to care for the children at Children’s Mercy. These provided ways to visually communicate the hospital’s need for support.

The Benjamin Franklin Award for Direct Marketing Excellence (Bennys) is presented by the Philadelphia Direct Marketing Association and has been a proud Philadelphia tradition for more than 43 years. The “Benny” itself is now one of the region’s highest and most prestigious honors in direct marketing and advertising.

This year’s event was held on Thursday, May 16 on the Spirit of Philadelphia.

Special Content: The Roadmap to Recovery

As nonprofits everywhere face unprecedented challenges, S&W is stepping forward to help—working on rapid response strategies with our clients, curating resources for easy access, offering answers from our expert team, and bringing people together from across the nonprofit world to share ideas. The point, as we say, is Powering Missions That Matter—now at the moment they matter most.

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