As they say at Shepherds of Good Hope, it all started back in 1983 with some sandwiches and a classified ad.
Father Jack Heffernan, pastor of Saint Brigid’s parish in Ottawa’s Lowertown neighbourhood, and his congregation decided to offer meals in the church basement to the homeless people in the community. He placed an ad to muster volunteers.
This modest effort has grown into a not-for-profit charitable organization with a Foundation focused on raising funds to support its programs and services. Shepherds of Good Hope helps stabilize people through specialized shelter programs, provides permanent homes with around-the-clock support, and serves thousands every year with its kitchen and evening drop-in centre programs.
All this takes a legion of almost 500 volunteers … and generous donations from the community. A key program for garnering that donor support is direct mail.
Considering that direct mail solicitation generates about 30 per cent of the Foundation’s gross revenue, with approximately 120,000 pieces sent out annually, managing all the little details to get it right is crucial.
That’s why Shepherds of Good Hope works with the team at TRICO Evolution.
Personal service + pricing
Trina St. Croix, the Foundation’s Donor Relations Manager, has completed six direct mail campaigns with TRICO since 2018 . She engaged with TRICO at a time when most of the fundraising team was new, making it crucial to have a partner with expertise in commercial printing and direct mail that could be trusted to help her team master its learning curve.
“We wanted an organization with people who would work collaboratively with us, and provide support and advice to us, to ensure our campaigns would be successful,” she said. “The decision to work with TRICO Evolution came down to its high level of personal service, along with having the right pricing – that was important, too, since, as a charity, we have to get the best possible return on every dollar we spend.”
It’s vital that the Foundation’s direct mail campaigns resonate with past, present and future donors on a personal level to yield results. This means a high degree of customization within each mailing.
In addition, Shepherds of Good Hope recently underwent a rebranding and continues to experiment with colour and design for maximum impact to attract donor support. And each campaign goes beyond physical mail, for a coordinated and multi-pronged approach that includes email, social media and traditional media.
Rising to the challenge
All of which means St. Croix and her team keep TRICO Evolution on its toes, but TRICO has consistently risen to the challenge, to get the job done right and come up with multiple options to help Shepherds of Good Hope find what will work best.
“Whether the project is large or small, TRICO staff continuously share their extensive expertise with us and are passionate about their work,” St. Croix said. “They have shown themselves to be very versatile and responsive and they haven’t hesitated to work with other parties on our behalf as needed. Their reliability and commitment to making our deadlines with a quality product has been proven repeatedly.”