Case Study: Desert Botanical Garden

Desert Botanical Garden is a world leader in education, research, exhibition, and conservation of desert plants of the world, with a special emphasis on the Southwestern United States. The Garden had typically conducted two direct response Annual Fund campaigns, one in the spring and one in the fall.

Daniller + Company analyzed two years of Desert Botanical Garden’s Annual Fund campaign results and developed a strategy designed to expand their audience and generate more gifts. We recommended consolidating their efforts to a single year-end appeal with an initial mailing to donors and prospects and follow-up mailing to donors who did not immediately respond to the first mailing. A more robust plan for supplemental emails was also recommended.

New messaging focused on the desert as a place the Garden protects and conserves, rather than focusing on a single program, scientist or initiative. Gorgeous photographs and compelling copy combined to create an urgent invitation to give. The package offered an incentive to encourage prospects to give a first-time gift at a higher level.


The Fall 2017 Annual Fund campaign exceeded revenue projections by 8.5%, and exceeded projections for number of gifts by 15%. The appeal generated 36% more gifts than the Fall 2016 and Spring 2017 campaigns combined.

Revenue from emails doubled from 2016, and number of gifts from emails increased 54%.