A FABLE: Once upon a time, a library decided to launch a direct‐mail campaign at Christmastime for a new endowment fund. The library had made meager attempts at fund raising for several years. A mock Christmas card was developed, inviting the recipient to “celebrate with a gift that lasts forever,” i.e., a gift to the library's new Book Endowment Fund. Design help was engaged, copy was written, a slick brochure was developed, and 20,000 pieces were prepared and readied for mailing between Thanksgiving and December 1. As visions of dollar signs danced in their heads, the library administrators settled down to await the returns. Responses began trickling in, along with legitimate Christmas cards, publisher's catalogs, bills for books, and seasonal solicitations from other organizations.
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