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 […]

Focus on user experience in the mail too, not just online (Tip #16)

Increase response rates by pre-filling your donors’ personal information on your direct mail reply cards.  It might be tempting to just leave these blank (it’s probably modestly cheaper than pre-filling), but don’t give in to the temptation! If you pre-populate donor name, address and ID code, that makes it quicker and easier for donors to […]

Is it a good idea to send political money to nonprofits?

 Have you seen this article from Chronicle of Philanthropy? Group Wants to Steer Political-Campaign Money to Charity April 12, 2012, 10:48 am A new Web-based company is seeking to reduce the influence of money in politics by creating a way for contributors to support candidates while actually sending their cash to charity, writes The Washington Post. Repledge, […]

Fundraising and the Executive Suite

Good, bad or ugly (err…otherwise), Executive Directors set the tone for philanthropy in any nonprofit.  For many organizations, this is wonderful news.  There are some amazingly talented executives who are adept at leading both the operational and philanthropic efforts of nonprofits. There are others, however, who are less capable (or comfortable/interested) in building organizational capacity […]

Direct mail as part of an integrated fundraising strategy (Tip #13)

Donors don’t behave in silos.  They consume media via e-mail, print, TV, radio, mobile, social media and face-to-face.  And recent studies suggest that in many cases, they consume multiple media at once. Direct mail, because it still captures the majority of responses, should be central to your efforts.  But leveraging an integrated multi-channel strategy will help […]

Direct Mail Fundraising Tip of the Week (#11)

One page.  Two pages.  Eight pages.  There is no right or wrong length for direct mail fundraising letters.  Don’t believe what anyone tells you about this.  Those are personal biases and likely not relevant to anything. Take as many pages as you need in order to say what needs to be said.  As long as […]