Are you willing to risk 60% of your direct mail revenue? (Tip #30)

Don’t try to save money by sending a postcard in place of your direct mail package and asking donors just to go online to make a contribution.  This might work for some donors – but not the majority.  We know that 60%+ of direct mail-sourced revenue comes back to your charity in the actual mail.  Not […]

Direct Mail Fail – Alumni Acquisition Package

The minute I saw this envelope I knew the package was doomed.  The OE (outer envelope) had a huge flaw. Unfortunately, the OE wasn’t the only thing wrong with this piece. There were three significant problems with this appeal. 1. Dirty data. This mailing is addressed to my wife. Sort of. You see, my wife’s […]

Plan your direct mail as a continuity strategy (Tip #29)

Think of direct mail fundraising as a program, not an uncoordinated set of mailings you send throughout the year.  Plan your mail program out annually, calendaring out each activity (extra points if you’re using an integrated calendar that shows what you’re doing each month in every channel you have activated). Let each appeal (and other […]

Use a campaign deadline to increase urgency in your direct mail (Tip #28)

Create urgency with a deadline for responding to your appeal.  Prominently highlight the deadline on your outer envelope, within your letter (as part of your ask), in your letter’s P.S. statement, and on your reply device.  Let donors know that if they respond by the deadline, you’ll be able to do X, Y and Z.  […]

13 Ways To Engage Major Donors

Chronicle of Philanthropy recently reported that big gifts from major donors are on the decline.  Their analysis of recent studies confirms giving patterns of wealthy donors today mirror those of the Great Depression.  It’s likely this means you may have to delay or scale back expectations for major campaigns. But more than anything, it means […]

Yes, your thank you letters CAN generate revenue too (Tip #27)

Use a custom thank you letter with each direct mail appeal.  Use it to tell donors how their gift was (or will be) used, and to show sincere appreciation for their contribution.  Don’t use the same generic form letter in response to every appeal. Be sure to include a reply envelope in your thank you […]