The University of Toronto (U of T) is Canada’s leading institution of learning, discovery and knowledge creation and one of the world’s top research-intensive universities. More than 90,000 students from 163 countries attend the University annually.
For our first U of T fundraising campaign in 2011, we conducted interviews with stakeholders from each Faculty, to get to the root of why alumni and other supporters donate. We soon discovered that no singular message would work for all Faculties and donors. We made the bold recommendation to create customized appeals for each Faculty.
Thanks to our highly-customized approach, the response rate surged by almost 70% versus the previous year. Net return per piece increased by a whopping 59%.
Based on our successful execution of this extremely complex direct mail program, ST went on to develop U of T’s annual fundraising appeal for 28 participating divisions, as well as the follow-up mailers and emails — all tailored to each Faculty. The amount of customization also grew to include targetted messaging for leadership donors and lapsed donors. The pledge form alone has some 40+ variables recognizing donors’ giving history. Now that’s DM cum laude.