Friends of Notre-Dame de Paris: Donor Acquisition Through Direct Mail


Following the devastating 2019 fire at the Cathedral, Friends of Notre-Dame de Paris saw an influx of new donors. However, many of these “emergency” donors began lapsing out of their file, emphasizing the need for new donors who would be committed to their work.

Following a successful initial acquisition test mailing in February of 2021, Friends of Notre-Dame de Paris invested in a much larger acquisition mailing for the fall of 2021. Our challenge was to develop a package that would resonate with prospects, improve on results from February, and bring in high-value donors at a low cost.



We created an acquisition appeal that focused on three goals:

  • Establish the need: The Notre-Dame fire has, for some, faded from memory. We directly referenced the fire with a powerful outer envelop teaser, photos on the letter, and within the copy.
  • Emphasize urgency: If construction is to be completed within 5 years of the fire, gifts are urgently needed to secure materials and experts.
  • Leave a reminder: So many people love the beauty of Notre-Dame; we developed note cards featuring imagery of the Cathedral for donors to keep, reminding them of Notre-Dame as they use them. Matching address labels were also included.

The final package was a beautiful piece that provided value to the donor and reminded them of the need to restore and rebuild an important historical landmark.

We worked with the list broker to develop a strong audience of prospects, focused on those we believe would have the strongest connection to Notre-Dame as a spiritual and cultural landmark.



The campaign generated a 1.83% response rate, bringing in 1,746 new donors with an extremely strong average gift of $69.70.

Most notably, the campaign netted positive revenue! We had already been impressed by the strength of Friends of Notre-Dame de Paris’ first prospect outing, but this was an incredible 204% improvement in Net Per Donor, from negative $9.24 in February 2021 to $9.65 in October 2021.

Lastly, this acquisition resonated strongly with high-value prospects: 43 donors gave gifts of $250+ that qualified them for membership in Friends of Notre-Dame de Paris’ 1163 Society, their exclusive giving society. With the strong stewardship we have in place for the society, these donors will certainly have a high life-time value.

Overall, this was an extremely successful outing that created a strong foundation for future acquisition campaigns.

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