The Irish Hospice Foundation run a variety of campaigns every year to raise funds for their very worthy cause. Many of these campaigns are direct mail appeals, with a high level of complexity.

On winning the contract to create and deliver for their biggest campaign of the year – their brief was clear: Improve on last year’s campaign in every way possible! Keep in budget and deliver on time. Music to our ears.

Our creative team got to work straight away. Firstly, we carried out comprehensive research including on-site meetings and reviewing previous campaigns. Our research was vital in truly understanding the important messages we needed to convey to the recipients.

The target audience was very clear so our design team worked closely with IHF Fundraising Team sourcing images and artwork that would best support the campaign message.

We also organised a photo shoot to get professional images of the IHF Book of Remembrance. James, our Print Sales & Marketing Manager, then sat down with his Mum (who would be a member of target audience) to see what would work. She then put down on paper what The Irish Hospice Foundation meant to her along with her Christmas memories. James shared these with the Fundraising and PR teams in The Irish Hospice Foundation and this very quickly became an integral part of the appeal.

Professionally shot photograph of the Irish Hospice Foundation Never Forgotten book

The Smart Group's design team worked on all creative elements for the direct mail campaign, everything from the envelope through to the donation form, each piece requiring seven variable data fields.

The campaign envelope design
The donation form and letter

At the beginning we set out clear timelines for the project, from initial designs to reproofs to sign off to press proofs to sign off of data to delivery to An Post to achieve the ideal time to drop on doorsteps in the middle of November.


The campaign was very well received and successful in helping The Irish Hospice Foundation raise funds that allow them to carry out the great work they do.