Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo Connects Donors with Their Impact

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The Challenge: How to Show Event Attendees the Full Scope of Their Impact

Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo has been connecting kids and animals, strengthening families, inspiring people to care since 1965. They serve between 600,000 to 650,000 families each year and are one of 6 zoos in America that does not utilize taxes to support their daily operations. They are funded solely through memberships, revenue, and donations.

Each year, Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo hosts three large fundraising events. One of those events is the annual Zoobilee, a consistently sold-out, Gala-style event held in June.

In the past, Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo had created personalized thank you letters signed by the committee members with pictures attached. After joining the ThankView family, Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo realized they now had a new, creative, and fun way to thank their donors. “With the thank you letters [sent after the Zoobilee Gala], we would use an automated mail merge function like ‘Dear Jim and Sally Smith, here's what's happening with your donation since you came to our Zoobilee Gala,’” said Amy Lazoff, Director of Development. “Even though they were personalized in a letter form, the video feels a lot more personal to our donors because we're sending it to him via email and [the envelope] has their name it. It feels like it is just for them.”

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ThankView Solution: Show Attendees The Impact of Their Gifts

Fort Wayne Children's Zoo staff thank donors

Using Adobe Premiere, Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo edited together photos and videos from the event as well as photos showing off the conservation achievements their donors’ gifts were directly impacting. “That’s allowed us to make a kind of shift from the event to showing donors the impacts that their gifts are already making.”

In addition, Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo segmented out individual donors and corporate donors allowing them to send messages that were truly personalized to each type of recipient. The unique message sent to corporate sponsors was effective because recipients were able to feel the same sense of appreciation as individual donors. “We received a lot of messages because of that. Corporations don’t typically get the fun thank yous.”

“We only exist because of the work that our donors make possible, so this really allows them to see their impact firsthand. [At the zoo], you can’t let 15,000 people behind the scenes, but you can through ThankView. I can give them an authentic glimpse of our world.”

Their Result: Donors loved seeing the impact their donations have made to Fort Wayne Children Zoo

“We only exist because of the work that our donors make possible, so this really allows them to see their impact firsthand. [At the zoo], you can’t let 15,000 people behind the scenes, but you can through ThankView. I can give them an authentic glimpse of our world.”

With ThankView, Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo was able to offer donors a glimpse into their world and directly connect donors with their impact.

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