Many outers in the fundraising field are colorless, or ride heavily on the name of the nonprofit or the celebrity backing it. World Vision, a Christian humanitarian organization, turns that classic design on its head with its four-color 6" x 9-1/2" mailing—and it has numerous implications. In fact, it asks the outer to do a lot of the work for this highly efficient mailing (Archive code #605-171939-0901).
Using both sides of the outer, it uses six teaser-like statements to get out its message, rather than the more typical one or two. And while there's a picture of a boy in distress as well as that same boy after supposedly getting aid, the largest picture by far is of a red, plastic ticket-taker that you typically see at at grocery store's deli counter. To the image's left, the largest teaser says, "The doctor may have medicine for your child. Or maybe he won't." Then, hammering the point home, it says, "Take a number." Underneath it all, and next to the photo of the young boy, it says, "John was lucky. There was medicine for him. But not for the children waiting in line behind him."
The back of the envelope is equally hard-hitting, with the picture of the suffering child next to the words, "Over 10 million children will die waiting for medicine that may never arrive. Can you help save just one?" And just in case the prospective donor needs one more reason to open the envelope, the bottom reads, "Give now—your gift multiplies 14x to deliver more medicine to sick children."
In essence, the outer envelope is positioned more aggressively here, trying to get much of World Vision's message across with provocative language, imagery and photographs. Perhaps it will be successful in pushing the prospect closer to a donation soon after opening than most outers, to the point that the letter and other components don't need to do as much "work"? Or perhaps it tells too much of the story, and unaffected prospects will opt not to open the carrier. Clearly, that's the gamble World Vision is prepared to make.