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The Bloomies are our award for outstanding donor communications in the nonprofit sector. Each week, we’ll feature a newsletter, email, direct mail piece, acknowledgement, solicitation or social media post that caught our eye.

Nominated by: Monique Finneran, Director of Communications – Development, The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center

Tell us about the piece you are nominating:

The piece I am submitting for nomination is from 2013. It is a solicitation piece sent to all OSU College of Medicine graduates and COM associated staff members. The format was a card sent in a frosted envelope so the recipient could instantly see the close up image of a white coat and be prompted to open it.

In previous solicitations for our White Coat program, a boring letter with a bad picture of an older doctor putting a coat on a student (the student being in an awkward position – as is anyone trying to put on a coat) was sent. The response was tepid, at best. With this new format, which we begged to try, we appealed to their emotions about receiving their white coat and used the strong tagline: “The coat you’ll never take off.”

The 2013 version also included a premium (a screen cloth with the same image as the card to be used with mobile phones, etc.).

The piece also included a gift array that allowed for recent graduates to feel they could give without being insulting to their educational debt. This allowed us to capture quite a few new donors.

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The results:

We were able to beat the three previous years’ donation totals combined! We also received a $5,000 donation from a COM graduate who stated he ignored all the other communications from previous years and responded to this one because it spoke to him. His giving capacity is significant.

Because of the success of our 2013 piece, we were able to execute a similar concept for 2014. For that version, we capitalized on the COM’s 100 year anniversary. In last year’s piece we did not include a premium and still beat our 2013 numbers!

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Why do you think they are deserving of a Bloomie?

Our judging panel couldn’t ignore the positive results of the campaign, but more importantly the piece takes a donor-centric view (passes the “You Test” with flying colors) and creates an emotional (nostalgic) connection with alumni. Kudos to Monique for recognizing that the previous campaign wasn’t working, and for being bold enough to try something new!

Know someone deserving of a Bloomie? You can nominate someone here >>

Kristen Salmon

Kristen Salmon

Product Manager at Bloomerang
Kristen Salmon is a Product Manager at Bloomerang. Kristen holds a Master of Public Affairs degree with concentrations in Nonprofit Management and Policy Analysis from Indiana University Bloomington and a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Oklahoma State University. She also worked for two years as a Research Assistant in grad school on the multi-year Indiana Nonprofits: Scope and Community Dimensions project.