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

George Smith: the art of creative fundraising - ’Give us your money – or the panda gets it!’

In 1992, George Smith predicted a sea change in the development of the fundraising profession, with deference and royal reverence to be a thing of the past. Was he right? Read his reasoning and decide for yourself.

Read more

SOFII’s September must-reads

SOFII heroes Pamela Grow and Craig Linton have trawled the Internet to pick out the finest fundraising fruits of September.

Read more

Secrets of direct mail 4: storytelling, fundraising and the dialogue method

How does Siegfried Vögele’s dialogue method work in terms of storytelling? In the final piece in his series on the great man, fundraiser Chris Keating explores how and even asks why storytelling matters in fundraising.

Read more

The A to Z of writing fundraising appeals: T to Z

Words of wisdom, notions of tone and urgency and the central importance of YOU - all are covered in this last entry in Steve Lynch’s A to Z of writing fundraising appeals.

Read more

The A to Z of writing fundraising appeals: M to S

We bring you part three of copywriter Steve Lynch’s superb A to Z, exploring everything from the value of a good slogan to lessons taken from his mother and George Orwell. Stay tuned for T to Z, coming soon.

Read more

Also in Categories



Tags