Member Retention & Fundraising

Michigan Science Center

Michigan Science Center increased member retention

Member donations increased 575%.

Member retention up 39%.


The Michigan Science Center inspires curious minds of all ages to discover, explore and appreciate science, technology, engineering and math in a creative and dynamic learning environment. MSC uses informal learning techniques that emphasize hands-on, minds-on interactivity through engaging exhibits, theater shows and programs. Prior to working with our team, MSC used an inconsistent mix of email and postal mail to renew and acquire members. Our team was called upon to increase the renewal rate and membership revenue. We were also challenged with increasing the number of individual donors and the total revenue generated from this audience.


The first phase of our disciplined and strategic multi-channel approach focused on membership acquisition and renewal. This included six reminders sent through direct mail and email, with personalized messaging developed to reinforce the emotional connections past members have with the organization. 

  • Emphasizing the Science Center as an important educational institution in the community.
  • Implemented cost-saving techniques that allowed us to mail more frequently.
  • Included a re-activation effort to remind lapsed members of the value the Science Center offers.

The second phase of our plan centered on individual donor development. Our first step in building an individual donor pool for the Science Center was to analyze the individual donations that had been received to date and to assess members for their ability to give. 

  • Developed messaging for email and direct mail that stressed the Science Center’s value to the Detroit community.
  • Showed the impact donors have in the promotion of STEM education and its collaborative relationship with teachers who rely on the Science Center to bring classroom teachings to life.


Our Authentic Marketing approach generated these transformative and sustainable results:

  • Increased member retention 39% in the first seven months.
  • Increased donations from members 575% in first seven months.


Michigan Science Center direct mail communications
Creative: Direct mail renewal package (left) and year-end appeal package (right)