University of Michigan, USA. Newsletter, plus reply form

Written by
SOFII
Added
November 05, 2014

The University of Michigan Legacy Society newsletter

The University of Michigan, based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, is one of the USA’s elite large public universities, with many of its academic departments ranked in the top ten nationwide. Over the years, as support from the State of Michigan steadily declined, the University built an ever-larger fundraising programme focused on its alumni (including me). Like most other universities in the USA, Michigan is increasingly the beneficiary of large legacy gifts, which have helped the institution to build a huge endowment. Its repeated capital campaigns run into the billions and legacies figure prominently in the proceeds. Unfortunately, this newsletter, which is typical of large-university legacy promotion materials, illustrates some of the weaknesses of university fundraising as its typically practiced in the U.S. today. Note, for example, that what should have been a cover letter is instead placed on the first page of the newsletter. Its salutation reads “Dear Friends,” a violation of fundamental direct marketing and good fundraising principles. Its emphasis is on the mechanics of giving, not the benefits of doing so. The only saving grace in this newsletter is the use of two illustrated stories about Michigan benefactors. - Mal Warwick.

The reply form is at the far bottom.

Pages 2, 3 and 4 of the newsletter are below.

Editor’s note: We at SOFII also liked the simple graphic presentation of different giving plans that are shown in this newsletter (option 1, the maize plan and option 2, the blue plan). Donors don’t automatically understand the implications of their giving, particularly when there are tax advantages. If these can be simply rendered in graphic form, then donors will be encouraged and fundraisers will benefit.

About the author: SOFII

The SOFII collection aims to be the most comprehensive, best organised, and most inspiring collection of fundraising related content from around the world.

Recent Articles

Secrets of direct mail 3: how people read letters

How do potential donors react to direct mail letters? In part three of our series on the legendary Siegfried Vögele, we explain this important aspect of his approach.

Read more

SOFII presents: meet the fundraising myth-smashers

Over the coming weeks, SOFII will share the three winning presentations from Myth Smashers, Fundraising Institute Australia’s IWITOT-inspired event. These three young fundraisers each shine a light on dispiriting fundraising myths and show how they can be overcome.

Read more

Marie Burnett: she lived, laughed, loved and left a huge hole in our hearts

We are sad to announce the death of Marie Burnett, co-founder of SOFII, trustee, company secretary, honorary treasurer and voluntary editor in chief.

Read more

Secrets of direct mail 2: answering the right questions with your envelope

In part two of our series on the ideas of Siegfried Vögele, Chris Keating explains how to use Vögele’s method in how envelopes are designed. Something that simple can make all the difference to your direct mail campaign. And you could also help some capybaras too.

Read more

Secrets of direct mail 1: the extraordinary findings of professor Siegfried Vögele

Have you discovered the great Siegfried Vögele and his dialogue method? If not, this new series on SOFII by fundraiser Chris Keating is for you. In part one, Chris introduces you to Vögele’s approach and methodology. Stayed tuned for further articles looking at how to apply them in practice.

Read more

Also in Categories



Tags