Direct Mail Marketing for NonProfits & Charities: 11 Effective Fundraising Tips For Maximum Visibility
It’s natural for charities and not-for-profit organizations — that run and grow on fundraising and charity plus relentlessly work towards spreading awareness about bringing change to the society — to be apprehensive about incorporating direct mail marketing in their campaigns. After all, direct mail marketing has been defamed for its time-consuming, cost-effective, and sluggish manual process that takes weeks to months to show return on investment, and that too, without any surety.
Charities and Nonprofit organizations further refrain from implementing direct mail fundraising because of its low response rate and a common myth that since direct mails are mostly sent in bulk, they end up in the recipient’s spam folder – remaining unknown to the intended person/group.
But do you know that despite a low volume record in 2016, compared to the different types of mail, the response percentage of direct mail was higher?
Also, for every $167 spent on direct mails, marketers sold goods worth $2095.
Don’t you think going by these fundraising statistics, non-profit direct mail is worth giving a chance?
Well, we say, if implemented right, non-profit direct mail marketing, along with other digital marketing campaigns, can help spread the message of your noble cause, wide and far.
How can direct mail marketing help charities & non-profit organizations?
First, allow us to help you understand why using direct mail fundraising campaigns should be on your marketing priority list and how it can benefit your non-profit organization.
Find Potential Donors
Having a targeted mailing list in your direct mail campaign can help you find donors that match your demographic profile. When segmented properly by location, gender, income, age, and other such factors, direct mail fundraising campaigns will only target the donors that would be able to help your organization in the long term.
More Personal Connection
Nothing connects better than a personal handwritten message. It does not matter how quick and easy emails can make the world for us; nothing beats the personal touch and feel of direct mail be it a letter, postcard, brochure, or any other mail piece.
Tangible products can be held in hand and read whenever the person wants to; it makes the recipient like the sender even more. A direct mail with personalized text will make for a more effective tool to connect with the prospective donor, which could result in a long-term partnership if materialized.
Everyone likes to be appreciated for their effort, don’t they? And this is also applicable to for-profit organizations. When your functioning and lifespan are entirely dependent on the donors’ generosity, it’s essential that you do your part and make them feel appreciated and make sure that their every little effort towards helping your organization is valued.
Direct mail marketing is the best way to do this. With a personalized letter or a postcard, you can show your gratitude towards the donors and let them know how much their contribution matters to your organization. This small gesture will keep your organization’s name on the donor’s list for the coming fundraising sessions.
Stay in Contact
By sending out personalized direct mail to your donor, you help them remember your organization for the future. It will also help you keep your donor database up to date if there has been any change in their name, address, or any other detail.
Better ROI Measurement
No matter how old the direct mail fundraising campaign’s technique is, it hasn’t lost its effectiveness. It’s still one of the most proficient approaches that allow you to target and qualify leads in a more humanized way. Furthermore, it gives you the freedom to measure the return on investment in a manner that no other marketing tools do.
Appeal to Your Donor
Touching on the donors’ emotional cords with a genuine appeal can work wonders for your non-profit direct marketing. Tell them how their contribution has helped bring progress in their “bringing the change” campaign and what you need from them to keep moving ahead and helping others.
It could be something that your organization needs to buy in bulk, such as medicine for ailing or injured animals or food supplies for hungry kids on the street. With direct mail marketing, you can convey your message to your donor in an emotionally appealing way, eventually convincing them to take action. This way, you make an interactive call to action without your organization sounding too pushy.
What Do The Statistics Say?
With non-profit fundraising marketers looking for cost-effective yet impactful ways to convince their donors to proceed with the donation process, they might think of direct mail fundraising as an obsolete method that no longer holds any significance. But, keeping the stats in mind, we can confidently say that it’s still one of the best ways to connect with your audience.
No, this is not just a vague statement.
Similar to how we backed the impact of direct mail fundraising with figures, we have a report from the Data and Marketing Association that revealed that direct mail has a higher median return of investment by 29% compared to the paid search ads.
Moreover, per Non-Profit Source 2018 data on direct mail campaigns, Baby Boomers and the Greatest Generation — which comprise 23.6% and 11.8% of the US population, respectively — were encouraged to donate to non-profit fundraising marketing through direct mail.
And if the industry statistics are to be believed, compared to a low online fundraising campaign, direct mail, non-profit direct mail marketing campaigns encourage more people to donate digitally.
Now that we’ve established the direct mail fundraising campaign’s efficacy, let’s talk about the strategies that can convince an individual, a group, or an organization to donate. We’ll also discuss some of the grave mistakes that might have the opposite effect so that you can avoid them altogether.
11 Effective Tips to Make Nonprofit Direct Mail Marketing More Effective:
1. Never address generically
Don’t start with “Dear Friend,” it is one of the vaguest ways of addressing someone you need a favour from. This is the time of personalization, and to make an impact on the donors, you should be more personal. We understand no matter how big or small your charity is, finding the correct name of every donor can be a difficult task.
That’s why you should invest in a direct mail automation platform with an API and integrated CRM solution that will fetch the addresses and build a mailing list for you without any hassle. Then there are times when charities go wrong with the person’s spelling, which becomes counter-intuitive. An integrated database management system can be of great help.
2. Keep the message clear and concise
All text and no images, or continuous text, will only make your prospective donor not want to read what you’ve invested so much of your time in conveying. Edit the text, break the paragraphs, use bullet points, be as concise as possible, and try to get your message across with easy but exciting words. Make sure there is a direct and visible call to action
3. Make it urgent
Donors respond to urgent needs. Add the pressing element and how contributions made every minute help marginalized people, feed stray animals, helping the earth to become more plastic-free. Urgency matched with the relevant image, and the closest date will help your prospective donor make a quick decision in a positive direction.
4. Tell them how your story started
Storytelling is one of the most effective ways of generating an emotional response from donors. A unique story will immediately catch the attention of your donors. Tell them what motivated you to start the foundation, which problem is your charity solving, and what’s the scope of this organization. Tell the story from the first-person perspective to establish a connection and make the appeal more personal.
Make your donors aware of how the problem affects the world and needs to be attended to immediately and how their contribution can significantly impact and change.
Talk about the struggles that you have faced in building the organization and the milestones you have achieved with generous donations from donors like them. This information will make your non-profit fundraising direct marketing credible and trustworthy to contribute.
You can also tell an individual’s story inspired to bring change in society, take, for instance, making streets safer for animals, or starting a feeding campaign. A direct mail fundraising campaign that shows that they can do better and work on their promises will compel donors to contribute.
5. Focus on the Greatest Generation
The parents of the baby boomers are referred to as the “Greatest Generation”. Did you know that the greatest generation prefers direct mail fundraising campaigns and donating physical goods? And they also account for the 88% that contributes $1367 on average, annually to the charity.
Yes, going by this data, you should try to reach out to this crowd as much as you can to enhance your opportunity to get an excellent donation to support your cause.
6. Remember the recipient
You have to remember that an individual, who’s inclined to make a difference, will read the appeal you’re pushing through direct mail marketing. You have to focus on how you can convince them to donate towards fundraising campaigns. Reach out to them personally by telling them how their single donation can significantly impact what you are planning next.
7. Make the non-profit direct mail fundraising appealing
Whether you are planning to send a postcard or a letter for your direct mail fundraising campaign, make sure that it is appealing to the eyes with content that touches the reader’s emotional cords. Ensure you mention the pivotal information about your organization and leave space for the recipients to fill any changes in the address or any other postal information.
8. Segment the audience
You need to make sure that your direct mail fundraising campaign strategies do not get wasted on leads that won’t understand it. First and foremost, segment your audience, and build your mailing list according to specific parameters- industry, age, and profession- so your direct mail fundraising campaign gets in front of the right audience.
A non-profit direct mail fundraising campaign is generally segmented into house file mail and prospecting direct mails. House file mails are for the audience that has previously donated to your organization, and you want to retain them while the latter is to appeal to new donors.
9. Track your results
It’s essential to track how your campaigns are performing so that you can use the result to prepare a better direct mail fundraising campaign for the next time to garner more donations. Check for immediate responses and the number of offerings. See what worked and what didn’t and move ahead accordingly.
10. Be as specific as possible
Be specific with how much amount you’re aiming to collect for your fundraising campaign and how it will help collect the items you require to help those in need. Being specific will make your non-profit fundraising campaign more legitimate, assisting donors in making quick contributions. Be direct with what you need, why, and when for faster responses.
11. Use Impactful Non-Profit Direct Mail fundraising keywords
Every marketing campaign has specific keywords that are capable of grabbing the immediate attention of the target audience. The same is the case with non-profit fundraising campaigns wherein certain crucial keywords can immediately draw your prospective donors’ attention to the cause.
Go for words like donors or give, instead of supporting—address donors by their name to create more impact and keep them engaged throughout the mail. Make sure to keep the acknowledgment attitude consistent throughout the mail to increase the chances of their donation.
Automate Your Direct Mail Marketing for Your Non-Profit Organization
If you’d rather prefer to opt for a non-profit direct marketing solution provider, we would be happy to help you automate the entire process with a single click. PostGrid’s non-profit fundraising mailing and direct marketing will:
We provide solutions for easy-to-create and print customized postcards, letters, and brochures that you can send to address lists built by our integrated system with a click. No need to waste time rushing back and forth to multiple vendors and post offices to spread your message; unlike the traditional method, PostGrid will bring all the processes to a click of the mouse. Dedicate the time thus saved to help more people, and animals, and make the world a better place.
Money and every resource made by a non-profit fundraising organization are crucial for their day-to-day necessary fulfillment. With our automated direct mail & printing solutions, you can stop worrying about keeping stock of right-sized papers, printing supplies, or dedicated teams to post them far and across in the city.
Tracking the progress of the package’s delivery is a hassle with the traditional system. We provide you with real-time tracking on your single sign dashboard, from where you can see if your package is being printed, packed, or in delivery. This step will help you make sure that your parcels are getting delivered.
Unburden your in-house team from the hassle of coordinating with different groups to create postcards, and letters. Choose from our wide range of templates, and customize them in our in-built editor with the content as per the message you wish to convey to the donors. A well-designed personalized postcard, brochure, or flyer guarantees increased chances of visibility and awareness.
Traditional methods can lead to a breach of privacy and data leakage, which can be a daunting challenge for a non-profit organization trying to bring about change. Data security and safety are your biggest concern and our biggest strength. We ensure that every process right from printing to delivery is compliant with the standards and norms laid down by the PIPEDA and HIPAA, for maximum data privacy and security.
Analytics and Reporting
Get detailed reports on how your campaigns are performing and download them for future reference. Use the data obtained to check for loopholes and develop a better strategy to make your non-profit direct fundraising marketing campaign more effective and gain more donations.
Vast Delivery Network
We are partnered with some of the most trusted delivery agents across the US and Canada. With us, you can trust your direct mails to reach the right destination at the right time, without any delay or inaccuracy in the mailing.
Your unique mailer will convince the donor to contribute towards the cause and make the change you are planning to. Make non-profit fundraising marketing effective with the tips mentioned above.
Free yourself from the hassle and let the PostGrid automated printing and mailing system take care of your non-profit direct mail marketing campaigns, guaranteeing maximum visibility.