Use Your Newsletter to Drive Up Revenue!

Hospice of the Peidmont

THE SITUATION

Hospice of the Piedmont is a nonprofit organization that provides specialized care for people with life-limiting illnesses in the surrounding counties of Charlottesville, VA. They had historically mailed a full color, newsletter with multiple pages of content to donors every fall in effort to raise awareness of their activities. The long form newsletter had generated some revenue for the Hospice, but the organization was looking to transform this cultivation tool into a compelling vehicle for fundraising as well.

THE STRATEGY

Hospice of the Piedmont faced the challenge of redesigning their current newsletter package. We wanted to maintain the integrity of this stewardship and cultivation tool while finding a way to generate more revenue. DMW worked closely with the Hospice to make some key changes. Instead of mailing the long form newsletter, a version that contained four pages of content (significantly fewer pages than the long form version) and a personalized reply slip was added to the package. The revised newsletter would be mailed to donors, volunteers, board members, and family members of former hospice patients who were cared for between 7 and 48 months prior to the mailing. The creative design was fully updated with vibrant photos and graphical treatments that gave the newsletter a modern look and feel.

THE RESULTS

Hospice of the Piedmont was very happy with the response rate from the short form version of the newsletter! Total gross revenue increased by 28% compared to the long form version that mailed the previous year. Adding a reply device helped to increase the response rate by 484% compared to the previous year. There was a dip in the average gift, but that was to be expected. The large spike in the response rate leads us to believe that there was an increase in readership for this edition which would help increase long-term donor retention.