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Nonprofit Reaches Beyond CA to Help Broaden Donor Base

City of Hope, Los Angeles, a cancer research and treatment center, is adopting a new direct mailing program beginning next month to help leverage its brand equity beyond the Southern California region.

According to Debbie Layfield, senior vice president at Grizzard, Atlanta, the agency handling the effort, City of Hope has relied heavily on special events in the Southern California region to raise funds, which brought in about $2 million last year. As they have several clients outside of the region, Layfield said, Grizzard saw potential in aggressively targeting the rest of the country. After initially looking at City of Hope’s current control, the first thing she noticed was that the center needed additional testing.

Tests will begin next month when it drops 15 percent of its acquisition mailing to Northern California and Florida. It will include City of Hope’s standard acquisition mailing, as well as two modified versions, including a donation request – rather than its standard premium offer – and two additional themes: patient care and research.

Exact numbers were not yet available, but Layfield said it expected to increase the number of mailings it did from last year by 30 percent. For the new mailings it will be using a number of lists, including donor files from other health-related organizations, cultural lists and subscriber lists from health and other similar magazines.

Two new donor acquisition and donor renewal mailings also will be added to the organization’s schedule, according to Layfield. City of Hope currently reaches a donor base of 200,000 people. n

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