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December 10, 2007


Artie Isaac

Mike, I agree with you on every point. You have very quickly come to thoughts that have bothered me for years:

1. We've sent these checks at Thanksgiving time during other years. It becomes a year-end mailing only when we get a late start (due to client work). You are right: Thanksgiving is a much better time for this mailing, during a time of giving thanks and sharing our wealth around the table.

2. The rate of return equals how many checks get cashed; it would be more appropriately called a "redemption rate." The single best year was 53% redemption. Unfortunately, these figures do not include the dollars that were added by our recipients. Many, we know anecdotally, have added $100 and larger checks to our $8 check when they send it to their chosen charity. If we knew these amounts, we'd have a much better calculation of true ROI.

3. The $60,000 figure is one I'm not fond of. It is mainly the cost of our time in developing and implementing the mailing year after year. So these are soft dollars. But, again, I agree with you: we should be giving more and I hope we are able to do so during the coming year. I'd like to get corporate (including my own firm) and not-for-profit (foundation) partners to increase the dollars available for distribution.


I suggest that you try this for Thanksgiving instead - you will stand out from the crowd of Holiday cards more.

How do you calculate a 45 percent average rate of return? Do you mean redemption?

$60000 spent to get $6000 given seems to be a high price to encourage your clients or show your heart for giving.

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