Delivered: Nonprofit Organization Mailers

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What's in our mailbox this month: Nonprofit Organization Mailers

Rails-to-Trails' mailer is the gift that keeps on giving. Any donation earns the giver four free issues of Rails to Trails magazine and members-only discounts on the conservancy's other publications and gifts; in addition, those who donate more than $18 receive a free T-shirt. The beautifully designed—albeit awkwardly folded—mailer includes tips for how “to help recycle neglected rail corridors into beautiful treasures” and, more important, information on donating.


WWF's mailer is effective in that it contains just three inserts and an S.A.S.E. One of the sheets discusses ways to bequeath the organization assets or money, another speaks of animals' plight, and the third is a way for the receiver to state his donating intentions, as well as bears the organization's contact information. The envelope includes the call-to-action, “Help WWF Stop Wildlife Crime,” on one side and a photo of a poacher on the other as one more way to encourage donations.


New York City Rescue Mission's pocket-size request highlights some overly specific donation numbers—$12.84 to help six people, $17.12 to help eight people, and $27.82 to help 13 people—and its excessive use of yellow would be better suited for The Beatles' submarine. In NYCRM's defense, the return card's instructions are easy to follow and the note, personalized to the actual recipient, clearly states the organization's goal—plus, that glaring yellow ensures that you'll never misplace it.



Covenant House's mailer— pastel-colored, white dove-and rainbow-decorated card with a Bible verse on the front and angel on the back—is a bit mawkish. Worse, it seems disingenuous to include faux handwritten notes and signatures in mailers addressed to “Dear Friend.” The complimentary book—Sister Mary Rose's Sometimes God Has a Kid's Face—is a nice touch, but perhaps not compelling enough to spark the reciprocity impulse that would prompt recipients to donate.

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