An Appeal That Soars to New Heights


Historical Societies

Project Overview

World War II was the ultimate test of America’s determination to preserve our treasured freedoms. Our brave servicemen and women went beyond human limits to gain victory. When those brave pilots took off on their precarious missions, they faced great uncertainty. They could trust only in their skill and their faith. Would they ever be able to return to their families and their lives on the ground?

With the approach of the 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe Day (V-E Day) in 2020, the Commemorative Air Force turned to Edge Direct, their longtime marketing partner, to bring maximum awareness to this historic occasion and, in turn, their organization’s mission. The celebration of the World War II anniversary promised to be a significant milestone, and we sensed an opportunity to appreciably boost our client’s revenue.

For us at Edge Direct and for our client, we had to trust in our ability and our faith in the power of intelligent direct marketing. We needed to develop a campaign that would surpass expectations.

For Commemorative Air Force and their agency partner, Edge Direct, the goals were:

  • Increase awareness of the significance of the 75th anniversary of WWII and what it means to Commemorative Air Force.
  • Expand the reach of the campaign through an integrated multichannel marketing strategy.
  • Develop inspirational creative and messaging to keep the legacy of our World War II heroes alive.
  • Convert and increase average gift for the mission’s high-value donors.

The Commemorative Air Force (CAF) is dedicated to preserving and displaying America’s World War II warbirds — those incredible fighter and bomber planes that gave our nation a critical advantage in World War II.

With the motto, “Keep ’em Flying,” CAF puts the general public, and especially young people, in close touch with these magnificent vintage warplanes. You can even take rides in them! Through this hands-on experience, our citizens gain an appreciation and understanding of what it took for the “greatest generation” to prevail in the bloody air battles of World War II.

We increased the campaign response rate by 40% from the previous year.

Our Solution

The Edge Direct team developed a powerful campaign focused on deepening the connection of CAF donors to the cause they care about. To increase the likelihood of success, we employed a multichannel strategy to bring CAF supporters up close and personal with the milestone anniversary. Since supporters could not participate in the Arsenal of Democracy Flyover at the National Mall in Washington, DC, on May 8, 2020, CAF gave them a meaningful, alternative way to personally thank our last living World War II veterans.


The campaign was a remarkable triumph. It generated a response rate of 9% (nearly 40% higher than the previous year) with a 32% increase in net revenue! Because many donors wanted to qualify to have their names added to the flight log, it increased the campaign’s average gift. Through the entire arsenal of direct marketing strategies, we were able to increase donor participation and directly engage the audience in CAF’s important mission.

For this project, Edge Direct received a MAXI award in the Nonprofit Renewal category from the Direct Marketing Association of Washington (DMAW).


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