Charity supporter cards

IMG_0838Is your nonprofit organisation sending supporter or membership cards to donors? Are the cards simple card stock or are they embossed on plastic to simulate a credit card or true membership card?

I recently received two examples, and my Aunt received one, which stood out to me. One appears as authentic as my American Express or VISA cards. The cards feature the supporter name, supporter number, and date in which support of the organisation commenced. One of the “member” cards I received was actually in an acquisition direct mail pack for the Wounded Warrior Project – an organisation I have never supported. One was a true membership I hold – for the Smithsonian Institution, which I joined last May while in DC. My Aunt’s, from the American Heart Association, is made of similar plastic material/weight used for credit cards. The card reminds me of my old AAA road service card from the US. The American Heart Association card appears to be part of an annual program noting the current year, but also noting her support since 2006.

I am guessing these types of cards appeal to the typical nonprofit direct marketing audience – female, over the age of 70, and to people who want to feel like they “belong” and “matter” to an organisation. The American Heart Association card obviously meant something to my Aunt because she saved it in a drawer. I am guessing she kept it and it meant more to her because it looked so similar to a credit card.

It struck me that I do not recall seeing these types of cards used often in Australian charitable organisations. Am I wrong? Is your organisation using these types of cards as part of your strategy?