With the ongoing, increasingly unpopular war in Iraq, it’s no surprise that more and more war-related efforts are visible in the mailstream, particularly in the fundraising sector. While some use an anti-war stance to draw donations for their nonprofit, others are military-related nonprofits that exist to aid soldiers and children. To change things up a bit this month, I’ve decided to not only mostly discuss the above efforts, but also focus on the outer envelope, as many mailers appear to use more innovative, attention-grabbing OEs than in years past.
Marine Toys for Tots Foundation goes with two contrasting approaches on the OEs of its #10 packages in June. While both celebrate the nonprofit’s 60th anniversary in both the corner card as well as with its red circular imprint that reads “Toys for Tots Foundation, 60 YRS,” one uses the provocative teaser “What if there were no toys?” in large font and the other simply says “Celebrating our 60th year of spreading joy to millions of needy American children” (Archive codes #613-618499-0706A and #613-618499-0706B).
Inside, both come with a pocket calendar freemium, reply form and reply envelope. The reply form effectively uses the image of a dollar on its back, with the phrase “You will be pleased to know that last year 97% of the Foundation’s expenditures were dedicated to program services”; in addition, next to the dollar, are three stars with descriptives that further elevate the charity, including a plug from Reader’s Digest that apparently named the nonprofit the “Best Children’s Charity.” The letters, like the OE, diverge—one going with a two-pager and the other with one page of copy and the back providing general information about the foundation.
Another military nonprofit, AdoptaPlatoon, also gets the prospect’s attention with an unusual 4-1/2˝ x 6-1/2˝ OE. First, it employs two regular stamps—two cents and three cents— to add a personal touch, and then completes the cost of the mailing with the nonprofit’s postmark. Second, it shows a nickel through a window but makes no mention of it. Lastly, it announces in large font that “Mail call hurts!” and explains on the back of the outer: “…please show one of our Heroes he is not forgotten. Sign and return the enclosed card of appreciation” (Archive code #601-710219-0706).