Washington National Cathedral’s NCA (National Cathedral Association) is a membership group of donors above a certain level. It was founded to help build the Cathedral itself but has changed and evolved over the years, presenting difficulties in messaging. As a result, many NCA members did not really know they were NCA members, or feel a part of this community.
Pursuant developed a bi-annual newsletter geared specifically toward NCA members, with language expressly thanking them for their membership and emphasizing the values of the NCA. Insider information lends to the membership feel, while stories and interviews with other NCA members promote a sense of community and continued loyalty.
While it was not geared primarily for fundraising and contained only a soft ask, the first issue of Cathedral Insider received a healthy response rate and income that compared favorably with monthly direct response appeals. The second issue, focused on planned giving, resulted in numerous inquiries into planned giving opportunities as well as notifications of intent to make a planned gift of which the Cathedral was previously unaware. Most important, gift officers who talked to NCA members reported that people loved the idea of a newsletter just for them and truly enjoyed the articles. By going beyond cultivation to embrace intentional stewardship with this key donor segment, we are building loyalty and retention while also increasing gift frequency and donor value.