Fund Raising Tip #3: Direct mail – Everybody loves a dinosaur

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Just because it sounds low tech, doesn’t mean that it is.

If the acquisition of new givers is the number one goal of a sustained, comprehensive fund raising strategy, direct mail is the best way to do it.

It sounds old fashioned to talk about direct mail in a world dominated by cyber technology. But experts agree that “the majority of gifts are still received through direct mail.” (2011 donorCentrics Internet and Multichannel Giving Report, Helen Flannery and Rob Harris)

At one time people believed that telephone solicitation would be the dominant medium for raising money. Then the Internet made email and online giving possible. There is no question that the way we communicate is changing, but successful fund raisers will tell you that you should still rely on direct mail as the major feature of a comprehensive fund raising strategy.

Direct mail is the dinosaur that gets more popular with age.

Mal Warwich, one of the world’s leading authors, consultants and public speakers on direct response marketing and fund raising for nonprofits says that “fund raising letters are – by far – the single biggest means used by nonprofits to recruit new donors.”

Just because it sounds low tech, doesn’t mean that it is.

Direct mail works because it is personal, target-able and cost efficient.

There is a limit to the amount of information that can be included in an email or Facebook post, certainly not enough to build a lasting relationship with people who are willing to part with their money to support you.

Direct mail fundraising also allows you to use use more information to better target your appeals. In addition to basic demographics, you can apply donor history and psychographics — personality traits, attitudes, interests, and lifestyle preferences — to better profile your target in ways that are not effective with email and social media.

A direct mail fundraising strategy developed by the professionals at Bluegrass Mailing, Data and Fulfillment Services allows you to tell your story effectively, make your appeal personal, and build the kind of relationships with givers that are necessary to sustain success over the long term.

State-of-the-art tools like data mining and variable data printing technology enable BlueGrass to target your message and match your organization’s profile with demographic and psychographic characteristics of potential givers. This ensures your message gets to the right people and speaks their language.

Add list management, creative, copywriting and on-line fundraising, and you have an unbeatable combination of skills and professional services ready to assist your organization to develop and execute a comprehensive fund raising strategy that maximizes your investment and your potential for success.

Your message may end up in cyber space, but it starts in a mail box.


Aaron Stringer

Creative Director

November 27, 2012

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