Fundraising Direct Mail Tips

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As we have alluded to in the past, an effective fundraising strategy demands outreach across a number of mediums.  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’d 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. You should expect a response rate between 7% and 20% from this list.
 
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. This list will have a much lower response rate…most likely somewhere in the range of .5% to 2.5%.
 
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.  We’ll talk about explaining your cause in a future video post, so we’ll keep it brief here.  Rule #1 is: 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: 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 with sending fundraising materials to this list.  Instead, send the occasional newsletter, updates, event invitations and so on.  

The traditional crowdfunding methods of keeping in touch with supporters like cold calling and direct mails are still important for raising awareness. DonationTo.com is a donation website that is hinting how to crowd fund correctly.

If you’re interested in exploring further ways of raising money through direct mail, check out this simple video:

We also found this presentation to be of value for additional direct mail fundraising tips.

Looking for additional fundraising tips check out these other links: How to Do Fundraising and Follow Up With SupportersHow to Stay in Contact with Supporters in 3 IdeasHow to Fundraise with Tier Level Rewards (Video)How to FundraiseHow to Ask for Help in Fundraising

Thanks again! From the DonationTo Team!!

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