Here in Colorado Springs Christian charities abound, and our direct mail marketing firm executes a great many acquisition and appeal mailings for these worthy causes.
A recent article in Target Marketing Magazine offers compelling advice on proven best practices for Christian charities hoping to increase both their list of supporters and the number and amount of donations.
- Assume that your core constituency is loyal to your cause. Most Christian donors are very loyal to causes that speak directly to their faith. Tap into that loyalty, and you are halfway there.
- Choose your moment. For example, appeals received immediately after Easter tend to be very effective. Easter is seen as a time of renewal and hope, with all the promise of Springtime overlaying the deeper message of resurrection. The devout are more likely to dig deeply into their purses at this time. Offering last-minute opportunities to mine tax deductions is another timely moment to appeal to donors.
- Use freemiums. Religious greeting cards are surprisingly hard to find in stores, and sending free cards in time to mail for feast days draws in donors.
- Appeal to donors’ emotions. Not entirely unique to religious donors are the motivating emotions of pity, guilt, fear, support of cherished values, and the idea of leaving a legacy to ones faith. Appeal to one or more of these emotions in every campaign.
- Religious imagery and scriptural references. Liberal use of appropriate imagery is very effective, as are quotes from scripture and photos of suffering. (See 4, above!) Discarding a mailpiece with a meaningful Biblical reference is more difficult for the faithful than you might think.
- Avoid compiled mailing lists. Compiled lists infer religious denomination, opening the door to numerous inaccuracies. Response-based lists, while pricier, are far better for targeting the appropriate affiliations and are worth it in the long run.
Testifying to the worth of a cause is not at all difficult, but humans are still — well, human – and to multiply your successes it is important to understand how to best feed the souls of your core constituency.