Chimp Haven Achieves BIG Success with Their First Acquisition Appeal!

Chimp Haven


Chimp Haven is a national chimpanzee sanctuary located in Keithville, LA that provides a safe and healthy home for chimpanzees that are retired from invasive biomedical research, the pet trade, and the entertainment industry. In the past few years, more and more chimpanzees needed a healthy place to retire and the demand for Chimp Haven’s services has truly grown.

Chimp Haven knew that acquiring direct mail donors is a key part of a healthy fundraising program and understood that they needed to invest in direct mail acquisition in order to boost the number of new, loyal donors who can help pay for its growing number of residents. Because this was the first time Chimp Haven mailed an acquisition appeal, they looked to the experts at DMW Fundraising to help with strategy and implementation.


It was decided that Chimp Haven would send one appeal to about 47,000 acquisition names from various prospect lists. Through the use of DMW’s proprietary prospect results history database (PACE), DMW was able to identify acquisition lists that we believed would produce the greatest number of new donors despite having no historical acquisition results, copy, or creative to rely upon. Prospects would receive a full color outer envelope with a letter, reply slip, and return envelope enclosed. The 8 1/2 x 11″ letter, with attached reply slip at the bottom, featured a heartwarming story of how Chimp Haven helped a chimp named Ned thrive at the sanctuary.


The results of Chimp Haven’s first acquisition were a big success! We initially projected a 0.50% response rate but were happy to see that the actual response rate of 0.97% exceeded our expectations by 94%! The strong response helped to keep the cost to acquire, at $38.53, to a minimum. With these results, Chimp Haven has built a strong foundation of a control package and control prospect lists for future acquisition appeals.

Chimp Haven