The Leslie-Lohman Museum of Art
The Leslie-Lohman Museum of Art is a cultural hub for the LGBTQ+ community, collecting and preserving its diverse history while also exploring the convergence of art and social justice. Located in New York City, the museum fosters thoughtful discourse on the power of the arts through its more than 30,000 pieces and its various public outreach efforts.
Finding compelling ways to ask for donations is a critical part of a museum’s operations. The Leslie-Lohman Museum had been mailing a donation appeal in the form of a letter and a separate return envelope. But the museum’s director of development, Eduardo Ayala Fuentes, had concerns that the appeal wasn’t direct and compelling enough. He also worried that the donation request was potentially confusing and, worse, that the loose return envelope was a barrier to recipients actually making a donation.
“We wanted to revamp the way we were communicating by making our mailed appeal both simpler and more in-your-face. We also wanted our donation request to be easier to understand—and easier to respond to.”
The Leslie-Lohman Museum staff had the creative prowess to develop a stronger appeal. But channeling that creativity into a simpler format would be challenging.
“We’d never actually worked on the kind of mailer we had in mind. So, we knew we wanted guidance on how it could be organized,” says Eduardo.
Based on their research, the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Art thought a self-mailer brochure might work well for their donation appeal. They reached out to POV Solution because we specialize in self-mailer brochures for nonprofits. Ultimately, this unique form of donation appeal worked to perfection, allowing the museum to transform the letter and separate envelope format into a succinct and compelling all-in-one solution. The new self-mailer brochure:
Created a refreshing change for recipients accustomed to the old format
Had no loose pieces and contained a detachable envelope to make responding easier
Allowed for a smoother, more cost-effective donation campaign
Note the following brochure features.
The main body of the mailer:
Information that recipients can discreetly—and easily—fill out on the detachable envelope:
“People are hungry for real information they can hold in their hands. But they need it to be clear, relevant, and compelling. I think the Leslie-Lohman Museum’s strategy is a great example for any nonprofit who wants to strengthen their outreach efforts and still cut costs".
POV Solution provided a single point of contact for the Leslie-Lohman Museum so they could rely on responsive, one-on-one support. We also provided easy-to-follow templates to help facilitate the design process.
“POV really set us up for success by sharing helpful templates so we could see how to organize the appeal, which made the design process go faster.”
For the final mailing phase, POV Solution also coordinated the distribution for half of the mailers.
“POV Solution helped us come up with a clear piece of communication that was also innovative to the people we reach out to,” says Eduardo. “And because of their help, we reached our fundraising goals. ”POV Solution helped the Leslie-Lohman Museum in multiple ways:
According to Eduardo, the timeline for an order of 5,000 self-mailer brochures went much faster than expected. “The total project turnaround ended up being about a month, which is pretty amazing.”
Half of the mailers have been for on-site use at the Leslie-Lohman Museum. “By using this high-quality piece as a takeaway, we’ve enabled museum visitors to leave with valuable information and send a donation later, which has actually helped us exceed our donation goals,” says Eduardo.
When the Leslie-Lohman Museum opted for a self-mailer brochure, it was not a cost-based decision. But, according to Eduardo, they ended up spending 48% less than prior campaigns.
"The fact that this was a more economical appeal mailer, and yet it still fit perfectly with our needs—that certainly has helped with the overall success of the project. It was also exponentially less effort for the staff, which is important for a lean team like ours.”
By continuing to generate interest and donations, the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Art can carry on its role as an important part of the LGBTQ+ community. POV Solution is happy to provide our self-mailer brochure services to help simplify—and invigorate—the museum’s fundraising efforts.