These are a few of the many thank-you notes Done Write founder Marlena McCarthy has received from Done Write Communications clients.
We had the pleasure of working with Marlena McCarthy from September 2005 until December 2009. During her time with us as a direct mail consultant, Marlena brought enthusiasm and passion for fundraising to our annual appeal campaign. She worked closely with us to identify the Foundation's fundraising focus for the year and recommend the corresponding strategy. She understands the value of storytelling and the segmentation of messaging to produce personalized appeals and maximize response rates.
Marlena took the lead on managing the data, print and production for our appeals. She helped to streamline our direct mail process and allowed the Foundation to use our resources more effectively.
On a personal note, Marlena is a dedicated and reliable professional. The Foundation enjoyed a positive working relationship with her.
Gloria Vidovich, Director, Planned Giving and Donor Relations
The Hospitals of Regina Foundation began working with Marlena McCarthy in 2013. We were looking to rejuvenate our direct mail (DM) program and explore how we might begin cultivating mid-level donors for greater gifts. Marlena's knowledge and experience in direct mail have proven to be invaluable to HRF. With her guidance, we totally changed the way we spoke in our DM asks, using emotive patient and physician testimonials to tell the stories, and using impact stories to report back to donors.
On Marlena's suggestion, we began a letter-writing strategy to selected intermediate giving (IG) level donors prospects in 2013. In its third year, the IG program has proven to be very successful! 2014 revenues exceeded target by 245%, and we have 4 newly confirmed Gifts in Will.
Following Marlena's creative suggestions and writing to our regular direct mail and monthly donors, we also have greatly improved the return we are receiving from our broader donor pool.
Marlena has provided coaching and mentorship to the Fundraising Team and Marketing & Communications Team. Her direction and assistance with design, writing and editing have increased our newsletter revenues by 150%.
I highly recommend Marlena and Done Write Communications. We truly value and appreciate the support, direction and advice she brings to every interaction.
Jeanette Kelly, Manager of Annual & Planned Giving
Note to Providence Healthcare Foundation Vice President from long-time donor interviewed by Marlena McCarthy
May I congratulate you in choosing Marlena McCarthy to represent the Foundation. I had the pleasure of meeting with her. Her warm personality and expertise in the art of questioning and listening made for instant rapport. Ms. McCarthy's enthusiasm for her work, her knowledge of the Foundation's 'raison d'etre' , its current philosophy and its success - past and present - inspires me to continue to be involved both personally and monetarily in the support of the Foundation. I consider it an honour to be a donor to the Houses of Providence.
Mary Pat Hay, Providence Healthcare Foundation Donor
In 2002, I hired Marlena to assist with direct mail appeals for the Foundation of Copernicus Lodge, a home providing a full continuum of care for seniors in Toronto's Polish community.
Marlena and I worked on seven consecutive annual campaigns. She truly understands and listens, always producing skillfully written packages that are both sensitive and effective, and that generated increased revenues year over year. She is skilled in her ability to tell a story in a concise, compassionate narrative that is very heartwarming.
It has been a real pleasure working with her, especially since she has first-hand knowledge about the issues facing the long-term care sector and seniors' issues because of her own personal and professional experiences. She is hard working, patient and understanding, ensuring that the finished product meets the expectations of all stakeholders.
Marlena is an extremely competent and knowledgeable professional that I would recommend highly to any organization.
Krystyna Streich, Executive Director, Copernicus Lodge Foundation
Like any successful venture, it takes a knowledgeable, dedicated team to have a successful direct mail program, and the Canadian Red Cross, Ontario Zone is, by any standard, successful. You, along with other members of our team, can take pride in the contribution you have made to our mail program over the years. There is no doubt that your experience, knowledge, and commitment to excellence has played a key role in our achievements.
Since you began working with us as a consultant in 1997, Red Cross has greatly benefited from the hands-on experience you acquired through your work with a wide range of direct mail programs. Whether it was your interview talents and ability to prioritize and maintain schedules, you contributed in a meaningful way to our growth over the years. In 1998, our revenue was around $500,000. For the last four fiscals, our program generated over $2.1 million undesignated dollars; much greater if one factors in the international donations raised through direct mail. And you helped us do this without significant increases to our expenses.
I value your willingness to go the extra mile to take a mailer from good to better, your keen eye when it comes to reviewing materials and finding even the smallest point that might need attention, and your complete commitment to making the Red Cross program in Ontario the best it can be.
You can be, and indeed should be, proud of the work you have done on behalf of The Canadian Red Cross Society. Thank you for all your excellent efforts. I see you as a valued member of our team and believe we could not have done it without you!
Lynn Badger, Manager, Donor Development, Ontario Zone
Marlena has been subcontracted as a writer for Blakely, one of Canada's leading direct mail agencies, for a total of five years. In 2017/18, she did all the writing for the Alzheimer Society of Canada's direct mail and donor newsletters. In February 2018, she received this note from Project Manager Gizelle Suelo about her work on this account:
"Thanks for being so passionate about what you do and for being a delight to work with. You should be proud to know that because of your writing we are ~$300K ahead of revenue from the previous year. Writing done right 😉."