Children’s Defense Fund, U.S.A.

Using compelling creative and shrewd targeting to upgrade donors.

Children’s Defense Fund, U.S.A. logo

The mission of the Children’s Defense Fund (CDF) 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.

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.

ST recommended a Proposal Style appeal with a tangible example of what a mid-major donation could achieve. We asked recipients to support Children Defence Fund 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.

top marks for a first-time effort!

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

The appeal resonated with donors: $173,301.50 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!

ST Services Provided

Brand icon

Brand Insights & Data Analytics

  • Provide donors with a tangible example of how their support can make a difference in the lives of children.
Strategy icon


  • 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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