Case Study

Direct Marketing Campaign Helps
College Reach Its Fundraising Goal

42% Increase in Donors Over Previous Year


At Colby-Sawyer College, the focus is on making enhancements that benefit its students. As expected, those enhancements come with a price tag. For this small private liberal arts school in New Hampshire, that meant asking its loyal alumni for help. The college engaged Curtis 1000 to launch a direct marketing campaign that would garner the needed funding.


Curtis 1000 provided the customer with a complete marketing plan, including electronic, print and mail elements. The Curtis 1000 solution included:

  • A race-themed campaign titled the “4K Challenge” aimed at achieving 4,000 donors before a specific date. If the 4,000 donor level was achieved, a small group of alumni had pledged to provide a lump sum of $200,000 to the school.
  • Four direct marketing appeals timed for fall, holidays, March and end-of-year geared to generate donor interest and promote a positive, team-oriented message.
  • A series of email communications to augment the mailings.
  • Race bibs given to all donors with their donor number.


The race-themed campaign generated excellent financial results as well as remarkable school spirit. Spirited donors even wore their campaign race bibs around campus, in vacation photos and at road races. The customer was extremely pleased with the campaign results and has signed another agreement with Curtis 1000 for marketing.

The campaign generated:

  • 4,329 donors, a 42% increase over the previous year and enough to earn the $200,000 promised by the small alumni group.
  • A 20% increase to the school’s donor fund.
  • Positive school spirit that the school plans to leverage for future campaigns.