An Appeal With a Pocket-sized Powerhouse
The Cato Institute, a nonpartisan public policy research foundation based in Washington, D.C., was in the mail in November with an effort that gives prospective donors a lot more than they bargained forin the form of literature (601CATINS1103).
Tucked neatly inside its cream-colored, simplistic 6" x 9" outer envelopeemploying the simple teaser, "CATO"is a paper-bound Declaration of Independence and Constitution of the United States of America, condensed to fit a petite, 31/2" x 5" pocket-sized format. Inside, Cato begins with a preface that suggests why the organization opted to include these weighty documents in a direct mail appeal:
To encourage people everywhere to better understand and appreciate the principles of government that are set forth in America's founding documents, the Cato Institute is pleased to publish this pocket edition of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States of America. ... The Declaration and the Constitution, together, address mankind's most basic political questions. Resting on a firm moral foundation, they articulate the first principles of political organization. ...
This particular effort includes just a six-page letter, donor card and BREto persuade potential donors to become a "Cato Sponsor." With a contribution of $100 or more, new members will receive a free CD of Cato's "most exciting speeches, 'Voices of Liberty.' It's an intellectual feast from today's great champions of liberty one you can enjoy at home or in the car." Cato also will throw in a selection of its most popular Briefings Papers, recently published op-eds, and its bimonthly Cato Policy Report.
The Cato Institute has mailed this freemium on occasion in the past, according to The Who's Mailing What! Archive. And another nonprofit organization also has offered potential donors a pocket-sized Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution: the newly opened Constitution Center in Philadelphia. Obviously, these public-domain documents condensed into a freemium were a perfect fit for that organization as well.
For Cato, this pocket edition leverages its organizational mission: to broaden the parameters of public policy debate to allow consideration of the traditional American principles of limited government, individual liberty, free markets and peace.
If Cato conducted savvy list selectionhitting the right targetsjust think how many recipients out there tucked the freemium in their back pockets after they received this effort. What's more, on the back page of the pocket Constitution is an additional donor form for potential contributors to fill out at any time.