Donor Care pack
Bush Heritage Australia

Bush Heritage Australia Donor Care


After a summer of devastating bushfires in Australia, we recommended that Bush Heritage Australia shift approach when communicating with their donors in Autumn 2020. Instead of a standard ‘fundraise as usual’ Autumn Appeal, we created a nurturing donor care experience that reflected the close relationship Bush Heritage Australia has developed with its supporters.

With no direct asks or dollar handles in the pack, the focus was solely on thanking the donor for their investment and belief in the organisation during this challenging time. The result was remarkable, with an outpouring of both gratitude and gifts from supporters.

This approach demonstrates the power of thinking about fundraising in the context of a relationship.


Autumn Appeal after a summer of devastating bushfires in Australia.


Autumn Appeal turned Donor Care pack


Raised 266% of target and generated 12% increase in gross income YOY.

The Challenge

The task was to create a positive brand experience and interaction for Bush Heritage Australia supporters.

To do this we put together a respectful, hopeful and insightful direct mail pack that:

  • Acknowledged and thanked donors for their recent support.
  • Informed donors of the state of Bush Heritage Australia’s reserves they have invested in through their donations over the past months/years. 
  • Instilled hope and reassurance that Bush Heritage Australia’s groundwork helped to mitigate the fire damage, all thanks to the support of their donors.
  • Looked ahead to the future expected needs eg. further investment in fire management staff and implementing fire management plans.
Bush Heritage Australia Donor Care
Bush Heritage Australia Donor Care

The Solution

As the focus of the pack was about thanking and informing the donor we wanted to take them on a journey. It began with a hand-written OE, “Seven reserves, seven stories of survival” which opened into a letter from CEO Heather Campbell, who shared her personal insights about returning to one of the reserves for the first time after the fires. 

Knowing ‘Bushies’ like to be kept updated and informed about the reserves they’ve invested in, Marlin included a lift mechanism that had a comprehensive update about the fire-impacted reserves and the wildlife affected. 

To amplify the gratitude we enclosed a thank you card, hand-signed by all seven of the fire-impacted reserve managers.  

Crucially, there were no direct asks or dollar handles in the pack. Instead, included in the pack was a stripped-back response form, where the donor could personally choose how much they wished to donate.

Bush Heritage Australia Donor Care
Bush Heritage Australia Donor Care

The Results

Bringing the donor incredibly close to the field staff with the hand-signed card was well received.

Donors wrote letters and emails back to Bush Heritage Australia to say thank you and express their gratitude and appreciation for having not been ‘asked’ to donate money, although most did! They acknowledged Bush Heritage Australia’s care for Australia and for people who may have been affected by the fires.

“We all deserve a pat on the back and our collaboration on this campaign has been very impressive, balancing between various stakeholders and going through many revisions to ensure all pack elements are to a great standard. Well done all!”

Bush Heritage Australia
Marlin Communications Australia

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