Dominican Friars Case Statement Part 4

Our case statement increased donor retention by six points!  When you hold a piece of marketing collateral, it’s so polished that you can’t tell what it took to get there. Such is the case with the fundraising brochure that we created for the Dominican Friars. In this part four of four, behind-the-scenes look, find out how investing in a photoshoot helped raise the donor retention rate.

[Read Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 of this series.] 

Design Presentation

We had a successful photoshoot. A couple of weeks later, I presented a 12-page layout using the new images from the shoot on the cover and an inside spread. There were audible gasps when our clients saw the brochure with the new photos! After a year of trying to convince them that professional photography was a worthwhile investment, the evidence was before us.

While the design and layout hadn’t changed, the new cover image exactly conveyed the feelings that we wanted to capture. The young adults group members were engaged with the friars. It showed that the Dominicans were relevant and they were working with young people who would carry on Catholicism into the future. All of this with the incomparable backdrop of the bay and the Golden Gate Bridge claiming a Western spirit.


12-page Layout with New Photos

Editorial Production

While the “Dominican Life Cycle” made clear the funding priorities, our client Chris wanted to further connect the friars to the actual work they do. This called for a spread highlighting some of the ministries and occupations of the friars. This needed a full spread, so we added four more pages. It meant there would be a little more breathing room in the layout and not so jam-packed.

Unfortunately, at this point we were up against the holidays while going through our layout revisions. By December 5, the layout was set and we were ready to send “LP3” to the proofreader. At mid-January, we sent another round “LP6” to the proofreader for a final check. And finally, at the end of the month, I had client approval to release the files to the printer.


The Final Brochure

Printing and More Proofing

We used an online printer based in Southern California in order to save costs. Folders were their specialty, and their prices were great. However, it meant that I wouldn’t be able to do a press check since they are a volume, low-cost printer. I did have prior experience with them, so I knew they were good. I paid extra to have them send me hard copy proofs. They were overnighted to me and they looked good. I then sent them onto my client who was in Seattle and he approved them as well.

It was a couple weeks later that 1250 brochures were delivered to the client’s main office in Oakland. When they arrived, I went to make sure that the final printed products looked good and picked up some samples for us.

And a Tri-fold

At this point, the brochure had gone from 8 pages to 16, added custom photography, and went from an 8-week project to 6 months. Additionally, there was still a trifold that was part of the original scope of the project. I laid out the smaller brochure as a double-barrel fold with 8 panels and a pocket on the inside back flap. The editorial production on this piece went quickly and we ordered 5,000 of these 9″x4″ brochures for the client as a more widely used appeals brochure.

The Small Brochure 4″x9″

WDP Small Brochure 4

An Investment that will Continue to Pay Returns

Although this case statement was a major investment for our client, we expect the brochure to have a shelf-life of 5 years or longer. They have been using this brochure for most of 2018 and in that time, their donor retention rate has increased by an impressive 6 points

But that is not the only benefit they got. In the process of creating this piece, they gained more clarity on their brand and messaging. They also gained experience using custom photography for marketing. While we could have designed (and did) a very good brochure using their existing photos, the custom photos elevated it to the next level. The strategic art direction of the custom photography to convey the message is what makes the piece almost timeless.

Additionally, the contents of this piece will continue to inform other future projects, making them less time-consuming to produce.

The Creative Agency’s Role in Collateral and Branding Projects

Case statements are difficult to do well in-house because staff is usually too close to the mission. Where we, as an outside creative agency, provide value is to help you clarify your brand differentiation—to help better communicate who you are and why you matter. You know your organization best. Our job is to help you get to the heart of who you already are. In this case, we helped to reveal to our client the greatness that was already there. We brought the outside perspective of what the targeted donors will care about. And used strategy and creativity to help make a case statement to address those concerns. 

Contact us if you want to know more or if you have a case statement that needs our help.