The Museum of the American Revolution


Case Study: Donor and Acquisition Mailings

Currently being built in the heart of historic Philadelphia, MAR will inspire and engage people from around the world about the people, places and events of the American Revolution.


As it prepares to open a new building in Philadelphia in 2017, the Museum of the American Revolution (MAR) has a capital campaign in place; however, it also needs to raise funds for operating costs. The museum therefore created a new Cornerstone Charter Membership program and has focused efforts on both acquiring and retaining donors and members in the years leading up to the opening. Without a physical building in place, it is challenging to provide donors and members with a tangible reason to give and renew support.


Given the four year period until the museum opens, the campaigns must seek to both provide a reason for giving as well as continue to cultivate donors throughout the building process. In the absence of any tangible membership benefits (such as free admission, programs or discounts) while the museum is still under construction, we have utilized premium packages, including calendars and decals, and a groundbreaking event as a "perceived benefit" to members. Back end premiums have also been tested to help increase average gift.Since May 2013, the direct mail campaigns have tripled the number of new donors to MAR with an average gift of $56 in acquisition. There are currently two control packages in place – a survey and a RSVP straight letter package. Top performing appeals include a stamp package and membership card.

Groundbreaking Appeal