$100 large in 10 minutes

The objective

The objective

With a golden anniversary to celebrate, tickets to a gala to sell, and $6 million in donations to generate for its ‘Breathe Life into Birth’ fundraiser, Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto was looking for multiple impact from one very streamlined direct marketing campaign. MC Direct answered the challenge by creating a two-tiered campaign that despite being simple, scored big results.

The strategy

Typically, fundraising communications are not ostentatious – purposely avoiding all flash to seem, well, needy. But MC Direct CD Paul Joyce says that they wanted the Mount Sinai campaign to ‘capture the imagination’ of the very targeted group of potential donors – namely bank execs, doctors and lawyer types.

The celebration motif was central. So when the first wave of the campaign went out to the 450 potential donors – some previous, others with good potential – they used a teaser piece with strong birthday images (a cupcake with a candle on the invite; inside, a bigger cake with 50 candles) and very spare copy (‘From sweet beginnings, great moments are born’).

The use of soft, solid colours and bold party images also flowed through the second wave of the campaign – a corporate package that explained the various donation packages available. Brevity was critical, says Joyce, because this group ‘doesn’t have much time on their hands. You’re not going to get more than 10 minutes of their time.’

The results

Two weeks into the campaign, the fundraiser had already reached 67% of its goal – both in ticket sales and donations. In the end, the $6-million fundraising goal was exceeded by 27%. And anecdotally, a first-time sponsor is said to have based his $100,000 donation – the highest possible – solely on the DM package. Mount Sinai was ‘absolutely delighted’ with the results, says Joyce, and signed the agency on to work on this year’s campaign.

Client: Mount Sinai Hospital Auxiliary

50th Anniversary Gala

Agency: MC Direct, Toronto

CD: Paul Joyce

ACD: Stephan Schmelzer

AD: Marija Main

Copywriter: Tanya Turnbull

Account supervisor: Melanie Haggerty

Production manager: Catherine Mazzocato