As part of a larger strategy to leverage donors into higher orders of giving, Kids Help Phone began testing leadership direct response campaigns in 2016, to great success. Donors responded well to the highly-personalized appeals and tangible asks, designed to make them feel like a key partner in the work they were enabling through their donation.

2019’s launch of a texting service aligned naturally with the leadership mailing, creating a semi-designated ask that donors could easily understand and see their place in.

The Strategy

As Kids Help Phone’s direct response agency of record, Good Works crafted highly-donor centric package inviting donors to roll-out texting nationwide following a successful pilot program. We were able to share a budget and plan for expanding the program with donors, illustrating exactly where a donation would go, what it would accomplish, and most importantly, how it would make a difference for young people.

The package was further augmented by a matching gift, a first for Kids Help Phone’s leadership mailings. Donors were invited to double their last gifts and see every $1 they gave become $2.

What Donors Received In The Mail

We took what we call a ‘high-end’ approach with this mailing – in other words, striving for hyper-personalization that doesn’t feel like mass marketing. The donor needs to feel extra special, after all, in order to feel moved to give extra!

The envelope is hand-addressed, live-stamped, and minimally-branded, helping it pop in mailboxes and feel more like a letter that’s been dropped in the mail just for them. Along with a cover letter signed by the VP of Texting Services, they also received a proposal that designed to bring texting to life – sharing stories from youth who had used or expressed a desire for text-based counselling, explaining how the service worked, reporting back on the initial pilot, and making the case for further investment from the donor.

How Did We Do?

The package performed exceptionally, exceeding revenue projections by 73% and meeting projected response rates. Donors responded to the opportunity to roll out a national texting line with amazing generosity, giving 63% more than projected and yielding the highest average gift ever in response to a leadership mailing for Kids Help Phone.

In light of this success, the leadership mailing remains a key piece of Kids Help Phone’s direct response program. It’s now being augmented with a standalone stewardship mailing that reports back to donors on how their gift was used and what the status of the program is.