Children’s Defense Fund, U.S.A.

Inspiring lifelong learners and mid-level donors.

Children’s Defense Fund, U.S.A. logo

One lesson we’ve learned is that fresh creative and smarter targeting can do more than make the grade — it can improve it!

In the case of the Children’s Defense Fund (CDF), whose mission is to ensure every child in the U.S. has a healthy, fair, safe and moral start in life and a successful passage to adulthood, their challenge wasn’t a compelling cause. It was how to communicate it in a compelling way — with a new audience.

Historically, CDF’s fundraising efforts concentrated on large businesses, foundations and major individual donors. Looking to use direct mail to upgrade regular and mid-level donors, as well as acquire new major donors, CDF partnered with ST.

top marks for a first-time effort!

We recommended a Proposal Style appeal with a tangible example of what a mid-major donation could achieve. We asked recipients to support CDF Freedom Schools® by funding the training of one or more Servant Leader Interns (SLIs) at a cost of $1,350 each. After their training, the SLIs provide summer reading programs to children in 28 states.

With the goal of upgrading donations, we targeted the appeal to active regular donors who gave more than $300 annually, and active and lapsed mid-level donors who gave more than $500 annually, as well as CDF’s current major donors and look-a-like prospects.

The appeal resonated with donors: $173,302 was raised from 307 gifts with an average donation of $564.50. CDF also received 13 large donations from major donors, contributing a whopping $80,431 of the total revenue. Talk about top marks for a first-time effort!

ST Services Provided

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Brand Insights & Data Analytics

  • Provide donors with a tangible example of how their support can make a difference in the lives of children.
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  • Mailed to active and lapsed donors who gave more than $300 annually.
Creative icon

Creative & Execution

  • Create a targeted, proposal style package with a compelling and tangible case for support.

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