Pacific Research Institute

On average, over 88 percent of all funds come from just 12 percent of donors (DonorSearch). Recognizing the significance of high-dollar donations, the Pacific Research Institute (PRI) acknowledged that in order to strengthen its donor program, it needed to acquire and cultivate more major donors. American Philanthropic worked with PRI to develop a high-dollar direct mail donor acquisition program.

American Philanthropic began with a conference call, in order to understand what had and had not worked for PRI’s direct mail program to date. We also examined previous mailing materials and results, and, based on our analysis and our own data, we worked with PRI to create a set of goals and a road map for their high-dollar acquisition program.

Once we finalized the strategy, American Philanthropic began to execute and manage PRI’s direct mail acquisition program. We developed ideas and plans for mailing materials; tested variables; wrote rhetorically and technically effective copy; provided all creative services; managed all list rentals; obtained bids and coordinated with printers; assisted with mail results tracking, and data analysis; coordinated with PRI’s marketing team to strategize and create digital content that aligned with the acquisition mailings; and held regularly scheduled conference calls with PRI staff to keep the program on track and everyone engaged. 

After four years, PRI’s high-dollar direct mail donor acquisition program that American Philanthropic created and managed has yielded 1,000 new donors with an average first-time gift of $231. PRI is projected to raise $2.15 million as a result of this direct mail program, representing a six-fold return on its investment.


American Philanthropic is registered as fundraising counsel or as a fundraising consultancy in all states that require such registration. This means that we are not “fundraisers”: we do not ask people for money on our clients’ behalf, make personal introductions, make phone calls, or otherwise have direct personal contact with your donors or donor prospects. We tee you up to do those things, and to do them more effectively, by advising you, coaching you, and providing the services outlined in this proposal. Our goal is to help you build your development program so that it becomes stronger and more sustainable, and to put you in position to build your own strong, personal relationships with funders.