The Free Library Answers: How Much Acquisition Should They Mail?

What We Did

Direct Mail

woman reading to children in a library

The Challenge

The Free Library of Philadelphia Foundation faces a few challenges when it comes to donor acquisition. The organization covers a defined and limited geography, which restricts the quantity of available prospective donor names available to the organization.

To start, Allegiance Group let the data guide the way! We examined the Free Library’s cost to acquire a donor against the long-term giving trends. Then we determined the quantity that we projected would balance the investment acquisition required and still maximize response from new donors.

Based on this limitation, it was historically a challenge to maintain response rates. In this context, determining the best acquisition mail quantity was difficult. Mailing too much was inefficient and mailing too few pieces didn’t generate enough new donors. The question is: what is the appropriate volume of acquisition mail?

The Solution

We mined the database to identify deep lapsed names that had the best potential for reactivation in order to reduce the quantity of rental and exchange names needed.

The Results

The changes paid off in a big way! Mail quantities were cut in half, saving the organization precious budget dollars for other program areas. At the same time, response rates DOUBLED! In the end, we acquired a similar number of new and reactivated donors at about half the cost! These simple changes will have far-reaching implications on the long-term profitability of donors.


Increase in Response Rates


Reduction in Acquisition Costs

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