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The waning direct mail market for fundraising has reached the tipping point for the Wellesley Community Center as they embark on their first fully digital Annual Appeal. And they have an ambitious goal of securing donations from five percent of Wellesley residents.
The Wellesley Community Center, a private 501c3, is in its fifth decade of service and has enjoyed robust support during the holiday season annual appeal program every December.
“We have a long track record of success with fundraising here,” said Stephen Peretti, former Chairman of the Board, “Our tried and true printed direct mail efforts no longer deliver sensible results and are, quite frankly, wasteful.”
Over the years, conventional direct mail response has receded, while online donations have become increasingly more prevalent. Online donations are now more secure and accepted, not to mention more convenient.
“I made my donation on my smartphone in less than a minute” said Peretti. “Printing and mailing conventional direct mail pieces is expensive and has not yielded the results needed to sustain the effort, so we’re keeping up with the times and going digital.”
The WCC uses PayPal as its credit card processor so donors can be confident the transaction is secure and they can use a credit card or their PayPal account if they desire.
Peretti sees digital marketing as the best way to sustain the value proposition of the Community Center while tailoring the message in the most appropriate fashion. This is how the ‘Strive for Five’ campaign was constructed.
“Of course we’re grateful for, and will always accept, traditional checks in the mail, but the convenience of donating online is vital,” he said.
“We realize five percent is very ambitious. Strive for Five is a serious challenge that appeals to Wellesley residents to support a non-profit that provides so much to so many in town… I think we’ll see our residents rise to the occasion,” predicts Peretti.
For more information about the Wellesley Community Center visit www.wellesleycommunitycenter.org.