Meals on Wheels San Fran­cis­co: Deliv­er Hope’ Giv­ing Tues­day appeal

Exhibited by
Clay Buck
July 01, 2021
Medium of Communication
Target Audience
All donors
Type of Charity
Social services
Country of Origin
Date of first appearance
December 1st, 2020

SOFII’s view

Lautman, Maska, Neill and Company created bright, simple, effective postcards as a way of folding Giving Tuesday into the fundraising strategies of the organisations they worked with. This example, from Meals on Wheels San Francisco shows that the direct mail postcards were engaging, included a fun sticker, and tapped into a broader cultural moment the USA was experiencing in 2020. These clever cards were perfectly timed between the election and the pandemic – and let’s be honest, who doesn’t get a kick out of wearing a sticker?

Summary / objectives

Meals on Wheels San Francisco wanted to come up with a new way to tap into the spirit of Giving Tuesday.

Creator / originator

Lautman, Maska, Neill and Company / Meals on Wheels San Francisco


Giving Tuesday 2020 was an opportunity for many organisations to rethink their fundraising strategies – it was, after all, in the middle of a global pandemic. Working with agency Lautman, Maska, Neill and Company, Meals on Wheels San Francisco decided to incorporate Giving Tuesday into their wider strategy.

Special characteristics

We generally think of Giving Tuesday as a digital or online phenomenon, but this campaign featured a direct mail postcard, so it took Giving Tuesday and made it part of the organisation’s direct mail plan. 


The postcard stands out by not being a direct mail letter. It’s bold and bright with a great picture and a very short and simple message. On the back, there’s a quick call to action in a personalised message. The donor is given three immediate calls for action for what they can do on Giving Tuesday: they can donate, they can wear a sticker celebrating their donation (and everyone loves a sticker, I know I do) and they can share the news of their donation on social media. It’s simple, straightforward and the donor is given a visceral idea of what they can do to support the cause.

Other relevant information

This postcard came along at a very important time in the United States, between a Thanksgiving mailing in November and the year-end appeal. The timing of the sticker was significant as it coincided more or less with the Presidential election and therefore evoked the iconic ‘I voted’ stickers Americans are so familiar with. 


We don’t have the numbers for this exact campaign, and Meals on Wheels San Francisco wasn’t the only organisation Lautman, Maska, Neill and Company worked for to use this strategy, but the Giving Tuesday numbers themselves were remarkable: US$2.75 billion raised in the USA, a 25 per cent increase from 2019. 

You can watch Clay’s presentation at IWITOT here:

Giving Tuesday is an iconic event in the American fundraising calendar.
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Meals on Wheels San Francisco created a postcard that stood out from other direct mail deliveries.
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The sticker accompanying the postcard was evocative of the iconic ‘I voted’ sticker.
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The overall Giving Tuesday results for 2020 were remarkable.