The Book On Fundraising Chapter 9 Direct Mail Tips
The Book on Fundraising was created by the team at DonationTo.com. Today we announce The Book on Fundraising available 100% for free, in blog form. As the months progress we will work quickly to make these pages available on our blog - DonationTo.com/blog. Below is Chapter 8 – Direct Mail Tips – This is a key element to know as you start any type of fundraising!
Direct Mail Tips
As we mentioned in the last chapter, an effective fundraising strategy demands outreach using a number of media. Though the Internet has opened up a world of new possibilities for connecting with donors and collecting funds, the effectiveness of traditional methods is undeniable. While using email, social media, and other online resources is effective, a well-rounded campaign will get you the best results.
With this in mind, we would like to remind you about an old but effective tool for fundraising: direct mail. Since the days of the Pony Express, direct mail has long been a staple of fundraising. The benefits of direct mail are obvious: it has been proven effective again and again, and is relatively cheap.
The basic strategy is equally straightforward: write a letter and mail it to past and prospective donors. That said, the actual implementation is a little more intricate.
The most important part of your direct mail campaign is the your mailing list. This list should be split into two parts: prospective donors and past donors. The reason to reach out to past donors is obvious — if they’ve given in the past, they will likely give again.
When building a list of prospective donors, be sure to include local businesses, churches, and other community organizations. You should also reach out to other charities, or even consider buying a list from a broker who specializes in fundraising contacts.
Once you have your list, the next step is to craft a fundraising letter. The goal of your letter is to reach readers on an emotional level and inspire them to take action. While we’ve covered how to explain your cause, inspiring potential supporters takes something extra.
Number one rule: don’t bore your readers! Make sure to include stories related to your cause. Emotional stories are far more effective than facts and figures, and help your readers relate to your work on a personal level. Another important tip to keep in mind is to be brief. We live in a fast-paced world, and very few readers will read your letter in its entirety. With this in mind, be sure to bold or underline the important points of your letter and include powerful images.
Once you’ve sent out your first wave of letters, it’s crucial to stay in touch with the people on your donor list. Don’t overdo it by sending fundraising materials to this list. Instead, send the occasional newsletter, update, event invitation, and so on.
Lastly, sending out direct mail is a nice physical reminder of your cause. In the world of emails and social status updates, a letter is a pleasant, traditional reminder that if designed correctly can be posted on the refrigerator to act as a great conversational piece.
Looking for additional fundraising tips check out these other links: How to Do Fundraising and Follow Up With Supporters, How to Fundraise and Reduce Fraud, How to Scale Fundraising For Success, How to Fundraise in 5 Steps, How to Ask for Help in Fundraising
Thanks again! From the DonationTo Team!!
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