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Royal Flying Doctors Service WA


“Treat major and middle donors differently from core donors especially at the end of the financial year campaign. The more you can present a visionary approach to major and middle donors at this time of year, the better the result.”

The cause

Our strategy

The RFDS is a national, charitable, health organisation delivering primary healthcare and 24-hour emergency services for those who live in rural and remote Australia.

The brief

To test mail a highly personalised appeal to mid and major donors in Wave 2 of this tax appeal. These donors had received the standard core donor collateral in Wave 1.

The Challenge

Most of the campaign budget had already been expended so our brief was to deliver a low-cost, high impact campaign to that segment of donors most likely to respond with a higher-than-average gift. Due to tight timelines, this test campaign would also have to be turned around urgently.

We developed a unique proposition for this test which was focused on a call to action around the training of pilots and engineers on two new PC-24 jets. This was very different to the generic call to action that was proposed to core donors.

Limited resources dictated a small budget. To this end, we analysed the data to identify a small test sample, based on RFM. Data selection criteria and identifying the most compelling ask were key to the success of this campaign, as was the design of the pack. We developed a Direct Mail pack that included a two-page appeal letter and two information-rich supporting reports, along with RM, BRE and a personalised outer envelope. The top 25% of donors (major versus mid donors) were further distinguished with a hand-stamped envelope.

  • A 14.6% response rate with an average gift of $794.

  • Average gift was more than 6 times the size of the average gift from this segment of donors in Wave 1.

  • This campaign was mailed to just 3.4% of the total number of donors targeted in Wave 1, yet these 3.4% of donors contributed 26.8% (FIA = 27.1%) of all income received.

  • Aside from the stellar results, this campaign achieved an even greater outcome in terms of our overall fundraising strategy. It delivered the proof point to the organisation’s leadership team that investing in smart fundraising pays off.

The results

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