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January 15, 2010

Rating Direct Mail from Environmental Defense Fund

I just returned from Peru, and my mailbox is filled with fundraising appeals from a variety of animal and environmental charities.  Apparently, I'm on the list.  That is fine with me, as I am always fascinated by such appeals, wondering what the cost of the appeal is versus money raised.  Statistics show that direct mail appeals have a higher yield that other forms of appeals for donations.

Amazon CARES can't afford these fancy appeals, yet I take pleasure in seeing how others market themselves.  This year, bombarded with direct mail fundraising pieces, I decided to evaluate them.

First up:  The Environmental Defense Fund:
  •  Envelope announces that free "Disappearing Treasure" notecards are enclosed.
  • Fundraising Appeal   
  • Information:  "10 Things You Can Do to Fight Global Warming." (see image at right)
  • Information:  "Environmental Defense Fund Achievements over time."
  • Gifts Available:  Donations of $25+ receive free newsletter by mail plus a tote bag.
  • Gifts Included:  5 beautiful notecards with blank envelopes enclosed (see image below)
  • Gifts Included: 24 address labels with photos corresponding to notecards
Observations:  Printed on recycled paper.  The Global Warming Information is something I will put on my refridgerator and share with friends.  I think about using notecards, but truthfully don't write many letters.  Address labels?  I have many from different charities, plus, once again, I rarely use "snail mail."  The paper, including notecards, were not a high grade quality paper, which impressed me, as I want to know that charities do their best to cut costs.

I could not find similar appeal on their website.

Rating the Appeal:  Modest and well presented.  The print newsletter is produced in quantity and is likely send to lawmakers that probably don't read email as frequently.  Their legislative aids will probably read and possibly report on this valid information.  The tote bag can be produced in quantity at a low price, as can be utilized for future campaigns as well.

Action:  I donated $25.

Why:  I am most interested in their print newsletter, plus the free tote back is an attractive gift.

If you like the idea of my reporting on fundraising appeals, please comment in the section below.  If response is positive, I will write future blogs about HSUS, PETA, SPCA, Wildlife Defense Fund, Best Friends and more,

by Molly Mednikow