University of British Columbia – Multi-Variable Mass President's Appeal

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TitleMulti-Variable Mass President's Appeal
InstitutionUniversity of British Columbia
Submitted ByChris Knapman
Communications Officer
CategoryDirect Mail Appeals
Institution TypeCollege / University
What fiscal year did this effort occur?2018

This appeal was the biggest UBC Annual Giving had ever attempted, and was in support of the newly launched Blue & Gold Campaign for Students. At the president's request, we solicited 363,710 constituents, ten times as many as our usual spring appeal.

What makes this unique

We saw this is a great opportunity to put our most successful messaging in front of a much larger audience. Therefore we spent some time looking back in order to create an appeal that blended elements of our highest performing recent appeals. As we built the appeal timeline out, we created several elements that were innovative and unique, including:
- A “high-touch” version for a special segment of higher value annual donors
- An interactive online page created in Adobe Spark:
- An email invitation from the president for those with no mailing address
- An email series with varying signatories
- A targeted direct mail package, with follow up email and phone calling

The appeal gave us a great opportunity to build on content that had been created by our Communications team for the overall campaign, and use it to speak directly and compellingly to our audiences. In addition, UBC had agreed to match up to $5million in donations to the campaign, and we were able to leverage part of the amount to support our efforts.

Primary Goal

The goals of the Blue & Gold Appeal were as follows:
- Reach all contactable constituents in the database and invite them to participate in the Blue & Gold Campaign for Students
- Provide a website that is engaging and allows the reader to understand the needs of the campaign
- The stretch goal for the appeal was to raise $900,000, rivaling our best ever campaign and double previous numbers. This was made up of:
o $500,00 for the Blue & Gold Bursary
o $400,000 for other funds


Our results against the goals were excellent:
- We contacted 89% of our database, and those not included were excluded with specific reasons
- The Adobe Spark page had over 15,000 hits with visitors averaging 2.5 minutes on the page
- To date the appeal has raised $838,259, including:
o $344,047 to Blue & Gold Bursary
o $494,212 to other funds

Other Comments

PDF submitted includes both the main appeal mailing, which included letters from the president and a student, and the high-touch "special invitation" version for leadership donors. The printing of the "change their world..." slogan on the outside of the fold-out piece was done with a gold foil stamp.