Pledge Card Project

The Jewish Federation of Western Massachusetts sends out a direct mail solicitation for donations every year for its annual campaign. Historically this has consisted of a single-page letter and a pledge card.

The system was rife with problems because the pledge cards were created from output directly from Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software. The staff had very limited control over CRM’s output, so it would frequently produce print overset and formatting errors. At its best it produced an impersonal, bland mailing:


In 2020, I took over the project with a vision to make the pledge cards a vibrant, attractive, and personalized marketing piece:

Each letter was tailored to the individual, with the language changing based on their giving history, which programs they had participated in, and other information relevant to the solicitation. Even the logos and signatories changed depending on the recipient’s involvement with the organization.

This new workflow also presented the opportunity to create a more sophisticated calculation regarding the exact dollar amount to be suggested on the pledge card. Working with the development staff, I designed an algorithm which recognized when a donor’s giving history was near a threshold for any of the Federation’s giving society levels (e.g. Supporter, Sustainer). In such cases, the solicitation amount was raised beyond the normal suggested increase. Likewise, the language of the pledge card was automatically changed to tempt donors with the added incentives of the benefits they would acquire by stretching to reach the new giving society level.