Case Study: Losing Donors? Don’t Lose Hope

BDI helped DOUBLE the size of a Rescue Mission’s donor file in four months!


Winston-Salem Rescue Mission in North Carolina faced many challenges, including:

  • An active donor base shrinking year-over-year, with a 4-year loss of 57%.
  • After leaving their direct marketing agency, they hired a local ad group that struggled to deliver results.
  • Overall revenue fell off and attrition was high as new donor acquisition declined.
  • Their website engagement and other digital metrics were down.
  • An understaffed, overworked development team struggling to serve hurting people and get their program back on track.

Gross revenue increased 506% over the year Winston-Salem Rescue Mission worked with BDI


BDI took on the Mission’s direct response program and helped to turn things around using:

  1. Customization to personalize every campaign with their stories, photos and videos.
  2. Integrated marketing sharing coordinated messaging and imagery across direct mail and digital.
  3. Donor-centric storytelling illustrating how the donor’s generosity transforms lives.
  4. Robust, multi-channel acquisition and reactivation strategies.
  5. Strategic digital marketing via email, lightboxes, custom donation pages, paid media and analytics.
  6. BDI’s Academy program for in-depth consulting and helpful, free resources.


In our first year working together, the Mission:

  • More than doubled their 0-24 month donor file – acquiring 7,231 new and reactivated donors.
  • Increased acquisition response by 955%!
  • Increased acquisition gross revenue by 506%.
  • Increased their donor cultivation appeal gross revenue by 128%.

BDI’s partnership with the Winston-Salem Rescue Mission helped get them back on track – fast. Learn more about this partnership below.

More of the story…

Donor file grew from 4,546 to 10,678

Direct mail that really delivered.

Before the Mission signed on with BDI, we learned that – due to unmet expectations with the local ad agency – the Mission did not have a holiday mail appeal. BDI stepped in, crafting two December appeals to speak to their donors during the critical, year-end fundraising season.

Once we officially began work with the Mission, we implemented a strategic media-mix with direct mail as the foundation to create fully-integrated campaigns. We performed ZIP code analyses, revised their target audience, hand-picked prospect lists, customized copy, and strategically designed an offer strategy to reach new donors and reactivate lapsed supporters.

Digital revenue increased by 128% year over year

Taking digital to dramatic new heights.

BDI recognizes that it’s more important than ever to offer donors ways to stay connected and engage with your Mission online. So we boosted their online presence through strategic digital efforts that integrated with their monthly direct mail campaigns.

By leveraging a series of tactics across various platforms – email, websites, lightboxes, organic social media, paid digital media, custom donation pages and more – we met with more current and potential donors in their preferred medium. That created multiple impressions to strengthen awareness and engagement in the community, and bring in much-needed revenue so the Mission could better carry out their life-changing work!

Lou Carrico - Executive Director, Winston-Salem Rescue Mission

“BDI coming alongside us has provided insightful ideas for cultivating relationships with our supporters and our development strategy! None of this could have taken place without the Lord’s goodness in abundantly blessing us, connecting our ministries and giving us the wisdom and counsel towards such an awesome year for His glory.”

Lou Carrico – Executive Director, Winston-Salem Rescue Mission
Lolly Colombo - Senior VP, Client Service

“It has been such a privilege and blessing to partner with the Winston-Salem Rescue Mission! We worked with this passionate and caring team to offer sound direct response strategies and implementation to help rebuild their fundraising program. But what really happened was – by partnering together – we released the amazing generosity of their community to uplift the Mission.”

Lolly Colombo – Senior VP, Client Service

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