Hum­ber Riv­er Hos­pi­tal Foun­da­tion: Hum­bert’ heart­felt mes­sage appeal

Exhibited by
Craig Linton
February 04, 2016
Medium of Communication
Direct mail
Target Audience
Type of Charity
Country of Origin
Date of first appearance
Autumn 2015

SOFII’s view

This final appeal letter from ‘Humbert’ – the custodian of donor love at Humber River Hospital – is a heart-warming celebration of the kindness and generosity of donors, as well as a great fundraising appeal.

As we said on Humbert’s debut on SOFII, the appeal is unashamedly corny, in a good way, and flies in the face of more traditional and stuffy appeal letters.

Summary / objectives

This mail pack was the final in a series of mailings for an appeal to open a new hospital. The letter was sent from Humbert – the custodian of donor love at the hospital. The pack thanked donors for their past support, encouraged them to participate in the opening of the hospital and asked for a gift to pay for the final pieces of equipment needed in the hospital.

Creator / originator

Agents of Good

Special characteristics

This appeal featured a strong involvement device. Donors were asked to write a ‘heartfelt message of hope and healing’ on a heart and send it to the hospital to display when it opened.

The accompanying thank you letter for those who donated was equally strong and oozed with gratitude and love for the donor. Thank you letters are often a hasty after-thought, so it is pleasing to see how Humber River Hospital Foundation (HRHF) made it an extension of the appeal pack.


This mailing achieved a 19.1 per cent response rate and an average gift CA$64.90. ‘Humbert’ has been an integral part of HRHF impressive growth in recent years. In 2015 the programme recorded a 30 per cent growth in revenue over the previous year.

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Humbert’s letter flies in the face of conventional appeal letters.
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The completed hearts are displayed in the new hospital to let patients and their families know that people are thinking about them and wishing them well.
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The four different thank-you letters sent to donors.
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Humbert gets his own return address.