SPANA Direct Mail Appeal

Charity fundraising appeal direct mailing


The brief

SPANA’s work improves the lives of working animals while supporting the communities that depend on them.

SPANA delivers free veterinary care to working animals in some of the poorest communities in the developing world. They rely entirely on loyal supporters to help them in this huge but vital task.

SPANA runs a summer appeal annually and it is a key cash income generator for the organisation. The main objective of the charity’s appeals are to raise voluntary income by encouraging existing supporters to donate to make either a cash donation or set up a regular gift from the mail appeal.

SPANA DM retention appeal C5 Outers

The focus of this summer appeal and follow up reminder was to raise awareness of the devastating donkey skins trade and its impact on working animals around the world. The main reason for the existence of this awful trade is for the product ‘ejiao’ which is a traditional product used in Chinese medicine and beauty products, which is made from donkey skins. SPANA is calling for an immediate halt to the ‘ejiao’ trade while its impact is assessed. SPANA needed an appeal pack that would demonstrate the impact of the trade and provide urgent funds to help owners keep their donkeys safe, and provide emergency food and free veterinary care to animals affected by the donkey skins trade.

SPANA Direct Mail Appeal Letter

Our solution

For this appeal to be successful we needed to show that the trade was growing at an alarming rate and that and if we collectively don’t take action urgently, it could be too late. 

We developed an appeal brand that was a strong visual link to the SPANA brand identity but also had a link to a branding type stamp that is often applied to an animal. This appeal brand conveyed urgency and gravity and allowed this to be used as a device as a consistent visual call to action throughout the pack assets. Partnered by a stripped back design, the appeal centred around a story of a donkey called Anakosha who was stolen by poachers from her home, with the sole purpose of selling her for her skin. The pack tells the upsetting story of how Anakosha was treated in her distressing journey destined for an abattoir. On this occasion, the abattoir was closed down and Anokosha was saved from slaughter. But she is the exception – the vast majority of donkeys stolen for their skin are not saved. We needed to tell this story clearly and simply to show that support and action is essential and can provide immediate help.

SPANA DM Retention Appeal Insert
SPANA DM Skin Trade Appeal Identity

As we were communicating the issue to existing supporters we were sensitive to the subject and respectful of the audience by selecting imagery that showed the urgency but avoiding content that was unnecessarily upsetting or graphic. We were able to use considered polaroid candid style imagery to accompany the story. This is a careful balance of language and visual and the tone used throughout the pack supported the sensitivity and extent of the problem. 

The fundraising appeal pack consisted of a C5 outer, a 2pp letter with donation form, one for a cash only ask and a version to prompt committed givers, an insert outlining the price points and suggested donation amounts and what they would support and 2 x BREs.

SPANA DM Aquisition Appeal C5 Outers

With bold but stripped back creative together with a behavioural understanding of SPANA’s audience profile we were able to connect, inform and drive response to this urgent appeal.

The appeal performed very well, surpassing all KPIs and breathing cash income target by 12% – a 10% increase on the previous year. The pack was very successful in engaging supporters and generated a record breaking response.

The services we delivered within this direct mail appeal project included:

  • Campaign branding
  • Campaign concept
  • Appeal pack design and artwork

Door 22 consistently produces high quality appeals that portray SPANA’s brand and core messaging, in a creative yet accessible way. They really took the time to understand the brief, the charity’s work and our core audience. The final result was an impactful appeal, that clearly portrayed the issue, whilst remaining sensitive to and understanding of our supporters. The results speak for themselves, with the appeal generating a record breaking response rate and surpassing all targets.

Head of Donor Marketing & Digital Fundraising - SPANA

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