The end of the year was pretty standard for fundraising efforts in the Who’s Mailing What! Archive. However, a few mailings debuted some new approaches that were rather out of the ordinary for your average end-of-the-year package—and may end up creating some new trends.
It’s not uncommon for a nonprofit to campaign on a particular issue that resonates among its core supporters, and thus send out a one-time mailing rather than, for example, a renewal control. The American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), a Quaker–based nonprofit organization in Philadelphia, recently has sent out such efforts, on diverse topics like the Pension Protection Act of 2006 and the third-world poor’s inability to access water.
In December, however, it used a new tactic: The piece involved another issue, but one that was internal and directly involved AFSC’s fundraising efforts. On the #10 outer, the nonprofit announces “Why we turned down more than $88,700” in large, bold red type. And below, in smaller letters, it reads, “(You would have, too.)” Inside, you find a one-page letter from AFSC’s general secretary explaining why it had to turn down such a large donation from one particular workplace giving campaign—including the related significance of its established stand against signing loyalty oaths—and closing with a request for year-end support (Archive code #605-172947-0612B).
Meanwhile, Public Citizen’s latest effort is a marked departure from previous official-appearing mailers. Although the outer’s address panel uses the “Petitions Enclosed” teaser seen in previous efforts, it switches gears with the larger teaser: graphic text that’s partially been marked out with the remaining words revealing the sentence, “just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse.” On the back of the #10 envelope, Public Citizen returns to official text with a quote from President George W. Bush that simultaneously demonstrates an apparent hubris alongside a seeming disregard for the ‘public citizen’ (Archive code #601-173541-0612).