Archive Observations: Celebrating Two Great Men
Fundraising campaigns marking the lives of two great Americans, both Civil Rights giants, reached the Archive in February. The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation mailed a membership offer in honor of the 200th anniversary of the 16th President's birthday. The teaser on the #10 OSE makes a connection to the present: "History is our story." The letter briefly mentions the Great Emancipator's relevance to today's "challenging moment," but mostly highlights the museum's activities, all geared toward communicating to the world his history and accomplishments. The brochure, order form and letter clearly detail the benefits for each membership level, as well as promote premiums, such as a leadership book and a subscription to American Heritage magazine (Archive code #576-717571-0902).
The sponsorship acquisition offer for the Washington, DC Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial, mailed in a 6" x 9" envelope, has been in the mail since last year. This particular version, though noting the recent inauguration of the nation's first African-American president, follows its predecessors in offering a "last chance" to become a founding sponsor of the proposed memorial before its construction is begun. The letter speaks of "The Dream," meaning not just Dr. King's famous 1963 speech, but also something deeper: the continuing struggle for equality for all. The incentives offered in the brochure (a collectible photograph, wristband and lapel pin) are tied to that theme as well (Archive code #602-706021-0902).
Staying On Course
As the economy has foundered over the last year, investment marketers have been cautiously trying to figure out an approach that balances hope with low expectations of savers. A 6" x 9" postcard mailed by VALIC/AIG simply asks "What is an IRA?" and directs the prospect to call a company advisor to call a company advisor to "help you make the right decisions" (Archive code #777-179427-0902).