Cesvi thank-you’ campaign

Exhibited by
Eleonora Terrile
November 09, 2016
Medium of Communication
Direct Mail
Target Audience
Type of Charity
International Aid & Development
Country of Origin
Date of first appearance
December 2005

SOFII’s view

Saying ‘thank you’ is essential for building good and lasting relationships between organisations and their donors. Cesvi kept things simple and effective with a nice personal touch in the way each letter was individually addressed, Writing donors’ names by hand on both the envelope and in the letter sent a message that they were valued and that Cesvi wanted to both keep them informed of a managerial change and thank them for their support. 

Summary / objectives

Cesvi, which stands for Cooperazione e Sviluppo  (co-operation and development), is one of the biggest international aid and development NGOs in Italy. Cesvi was founded in 1985 by Maurizo Carrara and friends after he travelled to Nicaragua and met some Bergamo volunteers working in hospitals and agriculture and he decided to help by fundraising. Today Cesvi manages projects in 24 countries and works through about 50 offices all over the world tackling any kind of emergency and helping to rebuild civil society after wars, natural calamities and disasters.

This mailing was created in order to thank the most faithful donors and to wish them Merry Christmas in a special way: a confidential letter written by Mr Carrara, who wanted to personally thank and say goodbye to donors and inform them before everyone else about his decision to leave his role as Cesvi’s president.

Creator / originator

Rapp Collins Italy (copywriter: Eleonora Terrile, graphic design: Olivia Rabiolo), Cesvi fundraising director Luca Gaggianese.

Special characteristics

A simple mailing: a white and non-branded envelope with a real stamp and with the donor’s name and address written by hand. The letter also included the donor’s handwritten name and was signed by Cesvi’s president. There were no images, leaflets, or donation requests inside. This mailing was intended to seem confidential and to be a thank-you message delivered directly from the president to the donor.


The relatively high cost of this mailing was related to the 5,000 real stamps, although there were no cost for leaflets or gifts, the envelopes and actual letters didn’t cost anything.

Cesvi volunteers wrote the names and addresses on the envelope and donors’ names in the letter.


After the mailing the 5,000 donors were monitored by Cesvi: 35 per cent of them gave a new donation. Cesvi received a lot of letters and emails addressed to the outgoing president Maurizio Carrara. Some of them were published on Cesvi’s website.


This mailing broke some fundraising rules, starting with the idea that every mailing should include a request for donations. Simplicity and a personal touch were the strengths of this mailing, which went to Cesvi’s 5,000 most faithful donors. 

Other relevant information

This mailing was sent just once because of the change of president from Maurizio Carrara (who signed the letter) to Giangi Milesi (current President).