Close this search box.

Baldwin Wallace University Connects with Long-Time Donors with a Custom Puzzle


Baldwin Wallace University (BW) has a robust network of donors – and most impressively, many of those donors have been donating for 20 or more years consecutively.

Typically, the team at BW would hold a reception and holiday concert as a thank you to these 20-or-more year donors, but as with so many in-person events in 2020, that event was cancelled. Therefore, BW had to find a way to connect with these very special donors and engage them and make them feel appreciated.


One of BW’s alumni from a graduate program shared a photo of a puzzle they received from their undergraduate institution a few months before they began working on this alumni project. The team at BW loved the idea and kept it in their back pocket until the right time.

When they began planning for a way to thank their consecutive donors, they realized that a puzzle would be the perfect fit (pun intended!) for their needs. During the pandemic, people were staying home more than ever. That made the puzzle a great way to provide a fun activity for their recipients while also showing their appreciation in an engaging way.

Next, BW needed to find the right partner to help them make their puzzle gift dream a reality. Ann Miller, the Director of Annual Giving, reflected that they received a glowing recommendation about Magellan Promotions from another university. They requested a sample and loved the puzzle Magellan sent to them. During the quoting process, Miller said the Magellan Promotions account manager was responsive and helpful at every turn. She could tell they would support the project from start to finish. Miller and her team decided that Magellan Promotions was the right company to trust with this unique project.

The selected 500 piece round puzzle featured an iconic campus building and came in a custom box displaying the same image on the puzzle, which gave it a retail gift presentation. The team at BWU packaged the puzzles and sent them along with a thank you card that also encouraged them to post photos with their puzzle on social media.


The puzzle was hugely successful! The team at Baldwin Wallace received a number of comments from recipients about how much they enjoyed putting the puzzle together with their families, and many also shared pictures on social media.

“The emails, photos, and anecdotes we received were amazing! We mailed the puzzles in February 2021, and we are still receiving messages and photos five months later!” said Miller.

While the team at BW and the donors certainly missed the in-person reception and concert, they recognized that the event can only draw about a third of the donors as many of them aren’t able to attend. The puzzle, on the other hand, was able to reach each and every donor in a fun and engaging way.

The puzzle also had the added bonus of being a major expense-saver in comparison with the event, meaning more of the donors’ funds were able to go toward their cause.

Additionally, Miller said, “The extra puzzles that were not mailed to the consecutive donors have been utilized as gifts for other donor and alumni groups, as well as used individually as part of personal outreach by prospect managers with their donors. So, the puzzles are the gift that keeps on giving and people LOVE them! I can’t say that enough!”

Read the Latest Blog Posts

My Personal List of Recommended Products Not Often Thought Of To Spur Donor Giving

Innovative Branded Merchandise for Donors Collegiate donors love branded merch. Donors have emotional connections to the brand and branded products allow them to show their pride. Thus branded merch serves as a  powerful fundraising incentive while showing appreciation.   The opportunity here is to offer fresh ideas that create excitement around giving campaigns. I have identified a short list of under-the-radar branded merch that I think giving campaigns should consider. While these are a bit more niche than socks and umbrellas, I know that they would not only be appreciated, but valued, used and shown off by donors. Let’s go!     Belts

Read More »
Mailing in the Enrollment Cycle

The Power of Mailing Branded Merch at Four Key Enrollment Points

As college admissions plan for the next class, it is a perfect time to step back and review marketing tactics. The goals of recruitment marketing include building affinity, creating emotional connections and influencing the decision. Physical interactions are a powerful way to accomplish this. Mailing in the Enrollment Cycle Trend: Branded Merch in the Physical Mailbox There has been a resurgence of marketing towards the physical mailbox as marketers are seeing higher ROI on direct mail than on digital and social. Consider that today’s consumer gets about two pieces of direct mail each day, compared to dozens (or hundreds) of emails

Read More »
Magellan Promotions proudly announces our inclusion in the prestigious PPAI 100 list for 2024.

Magellan Promotions Named to PPAI 100 Distributors List for 2024

Magellan Promotions is proud to announce that we have been named to the PPAI 100 list for 2024. Extensively researched and objectively scored, PPAI 100 is the highest recognition Promotional Products Association International bestows on its members. The prestigious list ranks 100 exemplary distributors and 100 exemplary suppliers in the promotional products industry. The PPAI 100 ranking, and our place on it, is based on several factors. Revenue is a key facet of the scoring, but other aspects of organizational excellence are also considered, including business growth over time, corporate social responsibility, technology practices, the strength of firms’ workforces, employee

Read More »

Provide your name, email, and state and your dedicated Account Manager will be in touch to discuss next steps.

"*" indicates required fields

Or call us at 414.831.0184

Postage Permits

We are happy to mail using a client’s USPS non-profit number. Here are a few best practices for this to go smoothly. Let our team know up front on the project so we can make sure to get the information we need right away. 

While our mail house does prefer to use their permit number for the mailing, we can use the client’s permit, If using their permit number, ensure there is enough postage to cover the mailing.

The information we need to in order to use a client’s nonprofit number includes the following:

Formatting the Mailing List

Our account team will advise on specific requirements for your project’s mailing list.  We generally recommend these best practices to format the mailing list: