How often can you use a match challenge in the mail? (Tip #21)

Matching challenges help increase direct mail response rates and total revenue.  I’ve seen nonprofits that use matches in as many as 7-10 of their mail appeals each year.  Probably seems excessive, right?  The interesting thing is, it doesn’t get old.  Donors love leverage. Use a match as frequently as you can – they work well!

Are you constantly reinventing your direct mail wheel? (Tip #20)

Find a control package (or several).  I’m always surprised when I talk to nonprofit organizations and hear things like, “we’re working on a new holiday package because our board thinks we’ve used the old one too long – they’re bored with it.” I’m all for testing.  Testing is important.  But before you begin testing, you’ve […]

What makes for a strong direct mail fundraising offer? (Tip #19)

A good offer is one that is specific, tangible, urgent and solvable.  Here are some examples: Your gift of $19.40 will provide holiday meals for 10 hungry, homeless, hurting people today.  OR Your $500 gift today will help us rush flu vaccines to 8 villages to save the lives of children like Eduardo.  Please hurry! […]

A solid website is the key to your integrated media strategy

Your website should (read: must) be the focal point of your entire integrated fundraising strategy. Why? Simply put, 99% of your donors will never walk through the doors of your office.  But a significant majority of them (over 65%) will visit your website.  Some will even visit on a regular basis.  For most of your […]

How to know when direct mail isn’t a good fundraising tool for your org (Tip #18)

Not all fundraising offers are made for direct mail.  Some causes just don’t lend themselves to direct mail.  This can be because your audience is so small you can’t get the economies of scale necessary to make direct mail a cost effective proposition. And some offers won’t work in direct mail because they’re uncomfortable.  We’ve […]

If you’re going to hide the ask, just don’t mail at all (Tip #17)

Don’t hide your ask deep in your letter.  If you’re spending the money to send out direct mail solicitations, don’t be shy! Prominently and repeatedly make your ask.  In fact, some of the best direct mail fundraising letters not only make the ask several times in the letter, but also in the outer envelope teaser […]