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Categories: Case Studies

THE UNIVERSITY OF EDINBURGH - EDINBURGH UP

The Latcham group continues to work closely with the University of Edinburgh providing a range of campaign solutions to encourage donations from the alumni for capital, research and bursary funding.

Background & Solution

The aim of the Edinburgh Up campaign was to target donors by utilising existing data so that the mailing pack and online video content related specifically to particular individuals and their time at Edinburgh. It took its inspiration from an award-winning documentary, the ‘Up Series’ known for its focus on people as inspiration.

Activity included articles in the Alumni Magazine “Edit”, social media, phone calls and a video.

It used modern techniques such as social media promotion; email fundraising, an appeal specific microsite, short videos, events and a very rare long, documentary to raise the profile through its novelty factor. 10 alumni participated and talked about their experiences whilst studying at Edinburgh from 1970 through to 2012 having received financial support in the form of Scholarships or Bursaries.

With 12 unique segments and 28 merges it was the most segmented appeal in the University’s history. It had pictures and quotes relating to the recipient’s experience. It was like their old friend was speaking to them about how financial support made a difference their lives. Further personalisation and segmentation was also used for the first time in email.

Fundraising activity and timescale

The Edinburgh Up appeal started in its quiet stages through the recruitment of participants and e-news stories of the making were all designed to softly raise awareness and anticipation without asking for money.

All existing donors were invited to a Premiere in Edinburgh; if they couldn’t attend, they could request a copy. Several days later the appeal arrived, it was from a graduate of the time they studied. It was preceded and followed by an email linking to a short video for their person. There was a further London Premiere and a final email with a video of the ‘future’ student they could be supporting.

Achievements

At UoE the Regular Giving (RG) programme gauges success in all activity using four core measures.

  • The target for income was £90K and with income of £125K was passed by 39% a record high by 36% for any appeal at UoE.
  • The target for donor numbers was 650 from 22,000 approached and in the end there were 654 donors, making this the second largest donor mailing in the University’s history.
  • The RoI target (not including the staff cost of managing the project) was set at 200%. The project returned a UoE record 363%, a considerable increase from the previous year’s 119%.
  • The target for non-donor acquisition for this appeal was set at 0.2% with the previous best from a similar appeal being 0.1%. The percentage of new donors to donate was 0.6%, the second highest for a UoE appeal of any type.

Key facts 

  • Volume: 21,924
  • Personalisation: Letterhead, duplex printed with blue rolling signature (dependant on letter length) plus 28 segmentation cells
  • Twelve different Donor forms, Simplex printed which had to be machine matched to the letter
  • Three separate reply-paid envelopes (for UK, ROW & USA) dependant on donor address
  • 4pp A5 flyer
  • Outer C5 envelopes x two for UK & Overseas
  • Follow up: Telethon and thank you calls

“CGL are fantastic to work with on manly levels. Their level of detail makes me feel confident their final product will be of the highest quality. There is always someone on call to answer questions and bounce ideas”

Gordon Cox, Development & Alumni Manager, The University of Edinburgh

Thank you to the University of Edinburgh for providing key facts and comment on this campaign.

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