Category 5 - Newsletter – Four Color
American Lung Association “BreatheIn!” Newsletter
Research/Situation Analysis: Founded in 1916, the American Lung Association of Florida (ALAF) is the lead organization in the region working to prevent lung disease and promote lung health through research, advocacy and community programs. ALAF asked Moore Consulting Group (MCG) to develop a newsletter that would inform recipients about the American Lung Association’s (ALA) hard work and serve as a vehicle to increase donations to the organization. Focus groups were conducted by MCG to assess what motivates individuals to volunteer and donate, gauge the general impression of the organization and determine the effectiveness of communication tools and overall messaging. Most respondents recognized the organization but did not have a good knowledge of the programs and services offered by the ALA. Having a direct connection to a charity and knowing how donation money is being spent were the two most important factors to participants when being solicited for donations. Surveys were also conducted by a global marketing research firm regarding donor perception and demographics. They confirmed that while the ALA has near universal awareness, it lags behind other similarly recognized non-profits in donor involvement and perceived value. Research also revealed that older donors prefer direct mail as the method to learn about opportunities to support non-profits, but younger groups prefer online efforts and friends. The ALAF was also looking to expand to additional ALA regions that would be interested in purchasing their newsletter and distributing as their own. Target Audiences: Included potential donors, previous donors, volunteers and the general public, particularly those over the age of 55.
Objectives: To create an attractive newsletter that would 1) Profile ALA’s research, advocacy and community programs as measured by at least 50 percent of the newsletter stories on these subject matters. 2) Expand the recipient scope by adding one additional region to purchase the newsletter for distribution. 3) Deliver maximum impact on a minimum budget with printing costs less than $1 per copy.
Implementation: Based on research, MCG first determined the contents of the newsletter would familiarize readers with the research, advocacy and community programs of the ALA. MCG interviewed key ALAF leadership about the target audience, discovering a large majority were over the age of 55 and “snowbirds,” who return to a home in another state during the spring and summer. Accounting for this schedule, MCG recommended a bi-annual newsletter—to be sent out in the fall (November 2009) and the spring (March 2010). MCG incorporated design elements that appeal to mature audiences, including font type and size, using a matte finish paper and allowing for white space. MCG’s graphic design department created an eye-catching design that mirrored the look of national ALA’s website and other communication materials. As more than 50 percent of donors have a personal connection to lung disease, MCG decided to profile important programs and individuals affected by lung disease in the newsletter. Additionally, MCG incorporated a donation vehicle within the newsletter, designing an ALA-branded envelope enclosed in the center page; so no additional steps were required to give back to the local ALA. Finally, in order to attract a larger audience that may be interested in using this newsletter as their own, MCG profiled various high-level programs that were not specific to any particular region instead focusing on ALA-wide initiatives and successes, information about charitable gift annuities, endowments and estate planning. With proven success in previous editions as it relates to planned giving (last year totaling $90,000 from two charitable gift annuities) the ALAF’s fall 2009 newsletter took a new direction as it began to serve not only the entire Southeast region, but was also purchased for distribution by the Upper Midwest and New England regions. MCG researched, interviewed and wrote articles for the newsletter. MCG compiled all of the information into cohesive, easy to-read, brief articles. The four internal pages of the eight-page newsletter outlined the opportunities to give back to ALA, including bequests, gift annuities and trusts. These giving articles highlighted the benefits of giving to the ALA and how donations are used to further research, advocacy and community programs in the region. Other coverage included relevant information such as the 2009 influenza season and H1N1. To keep budget for the publication low, MCG researched the most economical size and length for the newsletter, incorporating what would be most affordable with what would be most effective as a marketing piece. The newsletter was directly mailed to nearly 35,000 individuals in the Southeast and more than 52,000 others in the additional two regions who had previously volunteered, donated or requested information from the ALA. Postage was paid using ALAF’s non-profit postal code. Additional copies of the newsletter were printed for each area office in the state to use in marketing and promotional events.
Evaluation: The newsletter was visually appealing to a broad audience and was easy for a mature audience to read. 1) Articles in the newsletter profiled ALAF’s research, advocacy and community programs, with 63 percent of articles focused on these subjects, exceeding our goal by 13 percent. 2) As a direct result of incorporating information on ALA-wide programs and initiatives, two additional regions decided to purchase the newsletter for distribution in their regions (exceeding goal by one). Two additional regions will purchase the March 2010 newsletter. 3) The total cost per copy for printing the newsletter was $0.59, a savings of $0.41 from our original goal.
Budget: Account servicing and management hours were covered under the client’s $6,100 monthly retainer. Printing for the newsletter totaled $30,712.50. Graphic design totaled $2,070.00. Mailing and shipping cost was $5,596.43 and postage $13,591. Total cost for this campaign was $58,069.93.