Woman’s Roy­al Vol­un­tary Ser­vice: face-to-face postcard

Exhibited by
John Grain
September 11, 2009
Medium of Communication
Direct mail.
Target Audience
Individuals, regular gift.
Type of Charity
Country of Origin
Date of first appearance

SOFII’s view

Another clever and appropriate attempt to reduce the usual drop-out rates associated with face-to-face-fundraising, this idea from WRVS wisely focuses on making the experience personal, with rapid contact in the early stages of the supporter’s relationship with the cause.

Creator / originator

John Grain and Michael Dent at WRVS

Summary / objectives

Early attrition is a recognised issue for face -to-face fundraising. It has become almost acceptable that up to 50 per cent of signed- up donors will just fail to make more than one or two gifts after recruitment. Working with WRVS, we developed a series of three digitally personalised A5 postcards that are sent after each of the first three direct debit claims, to reinforce the importance and significance of the gifts. Compelling text on the reverse and a powerful image ensure the donor is left in no doubt of the value of their support.


The concept came from a holiday company that sends a postcard to customers after they have returned from their vacation containing personalised digital prints that are from the region or area that that particular family spent their holiday. We adapted the idea to provide personalised stewardship to new supporters.

Special characteristics

A high degree of personalisation. Digitalising the text on the front and reverse adds a much stronger personal aspect.

Test details

Tested face-to-face and house-to-house concepts.


£950 to develop concept, copy and artwork. Additional costs included print costs plus digitalisation.


Initial results indicate attrition levels have been reduced by 40% on first gift and by 20 – 30% on subsequent gifts.


Because this is a wonderful example of outstanding stewardship. It also shows that developing a strong relationship with the donor at the earliest possible stage can significantly affect loyalty and reduce attrition in a notoriously difficult and challenging type of donor recruitment.