Large Veterans Service Organization

Better Fundraising Outcomes for Veteran Service Organizations

The American Legion Department of Pennsylvania depends entirely on active membership, participation and volunteerism, but marketing materials were unattractive and inconsistent and showed poor performance. The Legion had no system to manage or store inventory and showed a below average return on investment (ROI) for its marketing materials.

The Client

The American Legion Department of Pennsylvania is a patriotic veterans organization committed to mentoring youth and sponsoring community programs, advocating patriotism and honor and promoting strong national security and continued devotion to our fellow service members and veterans in the state of Pennsylvania.

The Problem

The American Legion Department of Pennsylvania depends entirely on active membership, participation and volunteerism, but marketing materials were unattractive and inconsistent and showed poor fundraising performance. Our Solution: large membership based VSO was using direct mail fund raising to help support its mission. In recent years, net income from their direct mail campaigns was steadily declining.

The VSO came to Victory-360 (V360) in 2015 and asked for help in rebuilding their direct mail programs in order to generate higher net returns. These higher net returns were needed to support the veterans, their families and their communities. The team also wanted to rebuild their donor base to allow them to support their mission with future generations of veterans.

After redesigning their packages, writing better copy, applying its proprietary donor demographic profiles and mailing to select names in 2016, the net returns for their annual direct mail fundraising campaigns increased $43,951.59 over the prior year, with gross revenues increasing to over $61,641.31.

About the VSO

The VSO is a state-based nonprofit, who has been in existence for almost 100 years. The VSO provides a variety of services to support the men and women in uniform. Their membership population is aging and has been declining for several years.

About the Project

Direct Mail Fundraising is a key source of funding for the VSO programs that support local Veterans in need. The direct mailing revenues and net earnings had been declining for the previous three years (2013-2015).

Discovery: Define the Challenge

V360 began discovery in January of 2016. Discovery included stakeholder interviews, copy review, and audience analysis. Returns on investment were well below V360 best practice benchmarks. Package quality, letter copy and donor profiles analysis were not following industry best practices.

The VSO made a business decision to move forward with a plan provided by V360 with more targeted mailings and a lower overall cost program.

Targeting: The Key

Working closely with the VSO team, V360FR executed new campaigns for the calendar year 2016. An analysis conducted later the same year showed a significant increases in gross and net revenues.  Success is partially based on V360 analysis, targeting donors who are demographically and psychographically more likely to contribute to help minimize program costs.

Gross Revenues Increased by 9%/Net Revenues Increase 13%

Creating beautiful premium packages (made in America) that evoked strong emotions from recipients drove significant increases in the average gift amount.

Average Gift Amount Increased By $2.49 or 14%!

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