Leeds' "most successful ever DM appeal" 2012


To show that DM could work…


What does a student who attended the University of Leeds in the 1950s have in common with one that graduated 40 years later? Well, we need them both to become donors. But that aside, their experiences of university life are likely to be different – from the funding of their education, to the buildings making up the campus.

When it came to creating a Direct Mail campaign that would work, it was clear: one size doesn’t fit all.


We found that Leeds had collected a treasure trove of old photos, newspaper clippings and other memorabilia that we were able to use to create ‘scrapbooks’ for groups of alumni.

Our on and offline communications reminded alumni of the University they attended. We showed them that some aspects of Leeds life remained unchanged, but finances were now a major concern for students. Donors were asked to support scholarships for students who achieved the highest grades and were from low-income families.

We hoped that opening up the appeal would put a smile on the faces of alumni as we took them back to their days in Leeds. Many got in touch to share photos and even film footage of their own.


We chose photos and memorabilia that gave a sense of the era. In the 1950s, a tram – now long gone – ran in front of the University.


The 60s scrapbook featured Leeds record sausage-eating champion, as well as a discussion as to whether it was okay for women to wear trousers…


Alumni in the 70s saw (or rather heard) a succession of amazing bands on campus, from the Stones to Pink Floyd.


We created seven scrapbooks in total, taking students from different eras back to their Leeds.


On and offline communications were used in combination.


This is Leeds’ most successful DM pack ever.


This is the University of Leeds’ most successful DM cash appeal. It raised more money in 12 weeks than the previous eight years of mailed appeals.

Client: University of Leeds