Wounded Warrior Project

Case Study: New to File Conversion

Wounded Warrior Project is transforming the way America's injured veterans are empowered, employed, and engaged in our communities.


As Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) experienced tremendous growth in its donor program, it has taken on a large number of new donors through multiple channels (including direct mail, DRTV and digital). Therefore, a key focus is on converting those new donors and keeping them active on the file. Typically, after joining through the direct mail acquisition program, new donors would be placed into the normal donor renewal stream with no differentiation or acknowledgment of their relationship to the organization.


Given the most important indicator to long term donor loyalty is the quickness in which you receive a second gift, our focus was on the first conversion package or appeal.

To transition new to file donors into the appeal rotation, we created a follow up package to the acquisition package. WWP’s control acquisition mailing is a #10 double window carrier with a Purple Heart Forever stamp showing through the window. It features Anthony, a wounded warrior and Purple Heart recipient, who was WWP’s first spokesperson.

The conversion package is very similar to the acquisition piece in design: a double window with a Purple Heart stamp showing through and a similar teaser: “YES! That’s a REAL STAMP! What links it to someone whose life was changed by your support?” The copy emphasizes the donor’s role in Anthony’s recovery and closes the loop on the story started in the acquisition package.

By increasing response by 19% and improving the average gift by $5.38, the Before and After package netted 56% more than the control and 23% more than the prior year’s new to file package. As a result, the package is capturing second gifts at a higher rate than a regular housefile mailing, which will ultimately lead to higher retention rates.

Anthony Before and After Mailing

Anthony Before and After Mailing