For the most part, when people pick up their mail and hear something shake or rattle inside, they assume they have just received a free gift. After all, it is commonplace these days to find mailboxes filled with direct mail freebies—gifts enticing prospects to purchase a product, sign up for a subscription or make a donation. So, when recipients of a mailing sent by Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, Belleville, Ill., heard something rattle inside the 81/2 " x 6" envelope and read the teaser, "Inside: One ration of lifesaving soup," they probably concluded they'd be mixing up some soup for lunch sometime that

By Paul Barbagallo Whether you love them or hate them, front-end premium offers have long been a clever strategy for charities looking to lift response to their straight- appeal solicitations. Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate is one faith-based nonprofit that has realized—time and again—the potential of Freemiums. In April, Missionary Oblates mailed a 6" x 9", Mother's Day-themed envelope effort that included a four-color, three-dimensional cardboard altar (609MIOBMI0404B). The altar freebie, akin to something one might find in a pop-up book, is visible through a 31/2" x 51/2" poly window on the back of the outer with the accompanying teaser: "Remember 'mother' in

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