Upper St. Clair, PA
Date of Project
This Trek Included
First Responder Direct Mail Donation Campaign
The Upper St. Clair Volunteer Fire Department is a Pittsburgh-based, all-volunteer fire department that has operated since 1939, offering fire protection, rescue service, and emergency assistance for the Township of Upper St. Clair.
Trailhead: Where We Started
The department, relying on a combination of business and resident donations as well as community fundraising, sought help and guidance in modernizing and revitalizing its direct mail annual appeal campaign to increase donations and improve membership processing. They also expressed interest in generating increased online donations and developing online infrastructure to achieve that goal.
Trek: Steps We’ve Taken
Recognizing the need to update and personalize the USCVFD’s direct mail donation campaign, TrailBlaze designed an envelope-free mailing option, which included testimonials and firefighter “profiles” to establish trust with residents and businesses. One featured profile highlighted the work of a renowned local firefighter who spent years offering fire prevention education talks to local grade schools. USCVFD also benefitted from outsourcing the manual processing and registration of received donations to TrailBlaze Creative. The TrailBlaze team not only cataloged received donations but entered them into USCVFD’s computer system provided by partner company eServices Technology, to ensure centralized access to donation reports and membership information in the future.
As a complimentary part of this process, TrailBlaze Creative worked to promote (via direct mail efforts and through updates to the USCVD’s website) opportunities for businesses and residents to donate to the fire department online. TrailBlaze also assisted USCVFD in crafting new, targeted language and messaging to specifically appeal to business owners and potentially increase capital donations and business memberships.
Summit: Vision Realized
In addition to improved donation communication, USCVD’s website now offers multiple options for online donations as an alternative to mailed donations. Using PayPal, credit card, or by registering as a member, residents or business can now financially support the department without receiving or submitting any physical documents. Additionally, as a result of TrailBlaze Creative’s manually entry of mailed donations into the USCVD computer system, membership and donor data is now consolidated and easily accessible to the fire department staff. Future campaigns will realize an added cost, with the use of an electronic email campaign prior to the mailing campaign to save department costs for expensive mailings.