Direct mail has been a great way to raise funds for a long time, and for a good reason: people tend to be more receptive to direct mail requests for donations than they are to phone calls asking for the same thing. This type of fundraising request is less invasive, but still delivers results.So if you’re looking for ways to start or improve your direct mail fundraising campaign, read on. We’ve listed our top tips for fundraising direct mail campaign success to help you make the right choices.
Make it Personal
Graphic design is always important when creating an attractive and impactful direct mail piece, but when it comes to fundraising, it is perhaps even more so. Make sure your piece includes images that evoke emotion and personal stories that highlight both the need and the impact that the responder can make.
Sending out addressed mail to your prospective donors is another great way to personalize the experience. When it comes to fundraising, more than anything else you want recipients to know how much you value them as individuals.
Include a Response Form or Envelope
If you are sending out direct mail asking for donations, you should absolutely be including a response form or a reply envelope, as well as a link to make a donation online. Whatever response items you do send out should always be postage-paid too. If people are sending you donations, the least you can do is to pay the return postage.
Charitable organizations almost always depend heavily on volunteers. You may have a few permanent staff members, but if your organization is like most other nonprofits, you’ve got a significant contingent of volunteers working for you. Let them tell their stories and share why they are involved. Invite them to create a request for donations on your behalf. When people see how passionately people give their time to your organization and why, they’ll be more likely to donate to your cause.
Maintain Your List
The least you can do when asking for donations is know whom you are contacting. This is arguably even more important for charitable organizations than companies selling products or services. Make sure your list is up to date and that there are no misspelled names or similar errors.
When cleaning up your list, also consider whether you’re still reaching the prospective donors most likely to support your cause. Are you still serving the same community, or has your reach grown? Have you shifted focus, and is there perhaps another group that might be interested in helping out?
Don’t Forget the Thank-You Note!
It’s always a good idea to monitor who responds to your direct mail campaign, but if you’re marketing for fundraising purposes, there’s another good reason to keep track of who responds: sending out thank-you notes. It may cost a little more to send these out, but you’ll be far more likely to get a favorable response next time if you send thank-you letters to everyone who pitched in.