Guide dogs can be life-changing for people with vision loss. However, the cost of breeding/raising/training one dog is now over $50,000, and the wait list is growing.
To reduce waiting times, Guide Dogs Queensland wanted to use their tax appeal to raise enough funds to support five new guide dog placements. Donor renewal appeals are viewed as critical to the organisation’s fundraising strategy.
Analysis of past appeals found donors appreciated stories of young clients waiting to be matched with dogs, with updates of successful outcomes. With the help of client services, the team produced a poignant tale about Bec, a young woman, and her wait for a guide dog.
The campaign needed to surpass a gross income of $279,302 (2017 tax appeal results) and keep costs under $30,000 to reach net revenue of $250,000. Challenges included a declining donor base and no acquisition investment for five years.
However, past appeal revenue was stable, demonstrating a loyal donor base, which led the team to introduce second gift incentives. The appeal went to active and recently lapsed donors and a new stream: volunteers. It worked.
The team plans to build on the campaign’s success with more testing/refinement and to continue engaging with loyal donors.