customized annual appeal

Every graphic design solution begins with a problem. It's important to talk with the organizational team and other stakeholders to provide a great solution.

Reach Out and Read, a non-profit organization that partners with doctors to provide books to children from birth to age 6 at wellness checkups, was looking for new ways to segment and customize annual fund letters. We began by talking about what their goals were, what their dream appeal might look like, and how much customization was needed. It quickly became clear that there would be three slightly different letters on the back of a their annual fund appeal brochure. For each letter there would be a segmented pull of their donor database. Within the body of each letter, names, giving data, and asks needed to be customized. They also needed a matching "buck slip", and while buck slips for three letters would share some common data, they too would need customization dependent upon the data pull for their segment. The solution: create an extended form that also included an attached, perforated buck slip. That way the information for each donor could be carefully and correctly laser printed onto both the letter and the buck slip at the same time.

One side was designed to include information and graphics that would not change for any constituency and was created on one layer within InDesign. There were then three additional layers within the InDesign file: one each for each letter. Common components were placed first and carried through for each layer. Minor adjustments were then made to each of the letter layers to allow for any differences in flow and length. The buck slip was created at one end to match correctly to the common side of the buck slip on the first layer.

The front side and common components of the flip side were then offset printed onto the chosen paper stock. These "shells" were then run through a laser printer for each of the letters and the accompanying data for each letter. The piece was then folded and enclosed with a return envelope into a #10 envelope and mailed.

All printed design pieces benefit from an initial conversation with the company that will print the piece. In more complex pieces such as this, it is crucial to begin with a conversation with the print company and to discuss changes that occur during the design process. This mailing was carefully constructed with ideas and feedback from the print experts to produce a great outcome in terms of quality and accuracy of the printed piece and the subsequent mailing.

In addition to the mailed annual fund request, matching pieces were also created for headers for multiple email donor requests as well as for multiple social media postings.

Customizing your donation requests or marketing materials is a great way to personalize interaction with your donor or client base and tends to produce better results. In addition, using a strategy of multiple asks across several channels helped to increase donations and build stronger donor engagement with the organization.
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