Anatomy of a Control: A Vision for Growth
Toward the end, the letter invites the prospective donor to be part of the Lighthouse family and asks the supporter to consider a donation in the amount of $15, $25, $50 or $100-an ask that is repeated on the standard reply form. On the reverse side of the reply form, the prospective donor is asked to consider two programs-the employer matching gift program, and the President's Circle for donors who annually give $1,000 or more-to help further the impact her gifts have on the organization.
Lighthouse International created a more exclusive donor or membership level for its prospects by clearly enumerating the benefits associated with each level. It invites prospective donors to consider joining the President's Circle by annually contributing $1,000 or more, and according to Rizzo, there are many perks associated with this exclusive level. "They get invited to screenings here-we screen some movies before they're officially released-and they get more high-end solicitations from our major gifts department," she reveals.
Indeed, by offering a variety of incentives to the highest-dollar donors-be it advance entry to exhibits, invitations to exclusive events, newsletter subscriptions or other valuable premiums-there may be a significant number of prospects who decide to contribute at higher levels.
Finally, the control package's two-sided, three-color insert offers more detailed information about vision loss and Lighthouse International's services and initiatives for the visually impaired.
And furthering the effort to expand Lighthouse's acquisitions program, Rizzo explains that the organization is testing new lists, particularly reaching out to prospects outside of the New York tristate area. "We're testing outside into other states, and we're finding that some of those other states are doing just as well as the names in the tristate area," notes Rizzo. "So we have a lot of testing going on with packages as well as lists and segmentation."