Client ■ Reach Out & Read Colorado
Industry ■ Not for profit
Media used ■ addressed mail
Target audience ■ 1,250 current and lapsed donors
Date ■ 2014


Reach Out & Read Colorado prepares the state’s youngest children to succeed in school by partnering with doctors to prescribe books and encourage families to read together. Children served by Reach Out and Read Colorado enter kindergarten with larger vocabularies, stronger language skills, and a three- to six-month developmental edge. In 2015, 90,000 Colorado children will receive more than 165,000 books as a result of the organisation’s efforts.


To continue to support its mission, Reach Out and Read Colorado needed a direct marketing campaign that would help them accomplish the following:

  • Increase participation from their current donor base,
  • Increase gift amounts from past donors,
  • Improve efficiencies in their fundraising process.


Reach Out & Read Colorado’s service provider, Solution Link, developed a strategy to increase the level of relevant personalization to create a more meaningful, one-to-one dialogue with donors. An 8.5” x 14” (21.59cm x 35.56cm) year-end appeal letter was crafted with a personalised donation request. The body of the letter was developed and presented by a physician who endorsed the Reach Out and Read programme. The theme of the static content was “investing in a prescription for literacy that works.” The layout was interspersed with relevant, engaging images of children reading books.

The template for the personalised appeal was created by Reach Out & Read taking care to adhere to best practices, which keep the donor engaged and present a logical approach for the donation transaction.

  1. Personalised postscript including donor’s name, amount of donor’s last contribution, and the number of books that were purchased with that gift.
  2. Suggested donation amounts varied based on previous gift. Options were given to duplicate the previous gift, increase the donation by 20% and increase by 50%. An “other” category was also included to encourage any donation amount.


Introducing relevant, personalised content for the 2014 year end appeal had a profound effect. Specifically the following results were achieved:

  • Donors increased giving by 44.3% over the prior year,
  • Total December giving was increased by 40% over the prior year,
  • The campaign achieved a direct monetary ROI of 200%.