Animal Welfare League of Alexandria

Reimagined Annual Report Results in $15,000 Gift

Enhanced annual report leads to $15,000 gift.

Social media marketing engages audiences.

Email campaign drives thousands of website views.


Founded in 1946, the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria (AWLA) provides animal shelter services and community impact programs throughout Fairfax County and Alexandria City, Virginia. 

After we successfully reshaped the organization’s direct response fundraising efforts, AWLA came to us with a new challenge. They asked us to “reimagine” how they should create their Annual Report, currently done in house, to engage their major donor audience.


As AWLA’s fundraising partner, we had developed a deep understanding of the organization’s donor base through data analysis and campaign insights. Through that analysis, we discovered that many of their supporters could be giving at a much higher level than they were. 

Because of this, we had to find a cost-effective way to reach an audience that was 10x larger than AWLA’s previous Annual Report, but without exceeding the organization’s historic budget.

Our solution was to develop a multi-channel strategy that would harness the power of digital channels to help us tell the stories of AWLA’s impact via emotionally engaging messaging, images and video content. At the core of our approach was the creation of a digital “flip book,” which was based on their direct mail report but with additional impact stories and a custom video.

Additional strategies we used in order to reach multiple audience segments with different levels of engagement included the following:

  • All of AWLA’s current major donors received a personalized print piece with a customized thank you message from the Executive Director via direct mail.
  • Major gift officers shared the digital version of the report with major donor prospects and community leaders.
  • We developed an email campaign that reached the organization’s entire database, which resulted in one of the highest open rates of the year and drove thousands of views on their website.
  • A “one-sheet” summary of the report was printed and shared with event attendees as well as via social media.


Our creative solution paid off in a big way for AWLA when a lapsed donor reconnected with the organization and on a greater level than ever before.

The most this donor had given in the past was $500, well below AWLA’s “major donor” threshold. 

Upon receiving the Annual Report, the donor reached out to AWLA and made a $10,000 gift. The donor then asked for a tour of the building, and after the tour, the donor decided to increase the gift to $15,000.

Direct mail and data created for the nonprofit Animal Welfare League of Alexandria