PORTFOLIO: Personal Attention to Donors through Segmentation: Archdiocese of Chicago

Archdiocese of ChicagoThe Archdiocese of Chicago's Annual Catholic Appeal helps fund more than 60 different agencies in the greater Chicago area. The Appeal helps people in need, maintains parishes and schools in disadvantaged areas and provides support for religious education and vocation recruitment and training for priests, deacons and lay ministers.

The Archdiocese asked Amergent to design a database application that would house and maintain their 600,000 records and satisfy their specific needs as a diocesan database.

They also wanted us to review their mailing schedule and offer suggestions to increase support to their annual appeal.

Solution and Results
Utilizing the strengths of the Amergent Portfolio™ database solution and mailing software, we targeted selected donors and sent them personalized mailings by giving level, with modified individual gift arrays to maximize results.

We also added a pre-campaign announcement newsletter to prepare prospective donors for the campaign. This additional communication not only prepares potential donors in advance of the campaign, but also provides greater "real estate" for explaining the value of the appeal to local parishes in terms of the services that come back from the centralized Archdiocese. The text of the Appeal letter itself can then focus primarily on the spiritual reasons for giving, which is appropriate as it is signed by the Archbishop.

Second-gift appeals and acquisition mailings to direct-mail responsive Catholic donors have also been added to the Archdiocese's program to gather additional first-time gifts to the appeal.

All of these efforts have been branded and integrated into a unified and focused message that worked at building and nurturing the relationship between the Archbishop and parishioners. From its inaugural mailing, this program helped the Annual Appeal realize its first revenue increase in five years.