The Lustgarten Foundation Coloring Book Renewal


The Lustgarten Foundation (TLF) is the largest private funder of pancreatic cancer research, and raises awareness of pancreatic cancer through local walks, runs, and fundraising events. They have a large database of donors sourced from events, mail appeals, online appeals, and personal solicitations.    

It can be challenging to find a package and message that appeals to all these different audiences, but year-end provides the best time to reach out and renew donors. Our goal was to create a unique year-end campaign that would resonate with a large audience, while increasing the number of renewals and overall revenue year-over-year. 


We developed a unique package that incorporated the following elements:  

  • A large-form envelope, to stand out in the mail.  
  • A two-page letter sharing the powerful story of a family touched by pancreatic cancer.  
  • Matching gift opportunity, giving donors the chance to double their gift.  
  • A full-page memo-style reply form.  
  • The introduction of a therapeutic coloring book paper premium.  


The coloring book was an ideal piece to add to this appeal, serving as both a thank you gift to donors, and a reminder of TLF’s mission. Many cancer patients and their families use meditative tools like coloring books during treatment.   

Throughout the appeal we highlighted the fact that 100% of donors’ gifts to TLF go directly to pancreatic cancer research. We also included special messaging promoting gifts through donor-advised funds.  

The end product was a package that stood out in the mail, provided value to donors, and leveraged several incentives, such as a matching gift challenge, to increase renewal.  


TLF’s audiences responded to the campaign better than imagined. When compared to the house renewal campaign one year prior, TLF saw a: 

  • 33% increase in response rate  
  • 10% increase in average gift  
  • 18% increase in overall revenue 
  • Cost to Raise a Dollar (CTRAD) well below benchmark ($0.25)  

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