Direct Mail

Direct Mail Premiums: Pros and Cons From a Former Pro
September 12, 2016 at 12:38 pm

Love them or hate them, direct mail premiums have a long track record of lifting response and, at least initially, average gift. But the degree to which they work, and the effort they take to manage, is dependent upon your needs and abilities...

3 Innovative Envelope Ideas to Shake Up Your Direct Mail
August 30, 2016 at 11:20 am

In a mailbox that’s a little less crowded than just a few years ago, there’s still a daunting task at hand for fundraisers: how to stand out to the prospective member or donor. Even with a full box of exciting tools at your disposal, the good ol’ envelope is still just an envelope, right?...

How to Wreck Your Fundraising Appeal: Why Your Statistics Don't Work
August 24, 2016 at 9:34 am

There are plenty of appeals landing in my mailbox and inbox. I’ll bet it’s the same for you. I often open them, hoping to be moved or learn something new. And you know, there’s one characteristic that unites too many of the appeals. They’re all head and no heart. They’re built on carefully crafted arguments.…

Hey Fundraisers: It’s Time to Show Your Stuff!
August 23, 2016 at 9:22 am

Since 2006, NonProfit PRO has held a competition for the Gold Awards for Fundraising Excellence. This year's competition opened last week. If you’re with a nonprofit or agency (or know someone who is), and you’ve achieved some stellar results, it's time to get the ball rolling. Why should you submit your campaigns? Because great work deserves to be seen and rewarded...

It's Not Too Soon to Plan Year-End Fundraising
August 11, 2016 at 8:33 am

There are 142 days left in 2016. That sounds like a lot, and it is if you start thinking about year-end direct response fundraising now. But if you wait, there’s a good chance you will leave money on the table because of missed opportunities and no time to give it your best effort. For those of you who want to enjoy the holidays knowing that you’ve done all you can to maximize the income your nonprofit will receive, here are some things to work into your planning...

Knock Donor Communications Out of the Park
August 10, 2016 at 1:09 pm

I’ve written a lot about the importance of nonprofit organizations communicating with their donors, but that’s not enough. You have to do it well. You have to knock it out of the park. Sadly, many organizations fail at this. Their communications are OK at best and just dreadful at worst. That’s why I pleasantly was…

Change Your Fundraising—But Do it Right
August 4, 2016 at 8:00 am

As fundraisers, our passengers are our donors. And as most experienced fundraisers have found, even the best change can impact income—at least for a while. I mean, let’s be real—what’s bad about going from a boring, two-color newsletter to one that is four-color and has larger photos? In most cases, nothing. But it’s change, and, as humans, we can be a bit slow to adapt to anything different; and that can keep us from giving until we get comfortable with the "new."...

5 Questions to Shape Your Direct Response Fundraising Project
July 28, 2016 at 12:24 pm

"We need money! Can you send out an email/mailing/newsletter?" Have you heard some variation of that in your career? It’s tough enough doing a great job when you can plan a project, but when you have no time for the "luxury" of rumination, take a few minutes to answer these five questions to help your direct response fundraising be as effective as possible...

7 Cardinal Rules of Fundraising Writing
July 25, 2016 at 11:22 am

Fundraising is a funny profession. It requires you to learn a specific style of writing that's unlike any other you're likely to have learned—business writing, journalism or grant writing, etc. But if you go to the trouble to learn the conventions of fundraising writing, donors will reward you with more gifts. Larger gifts. And they'll…

Free Solutions for Your Direct Marketing Program
July 18, 2016 at 10:51 am

In a perfect world, all of our direct marketing costs would be marginal, so they scaled as we mailed, helping us to pick the exact right quantities and people every time. Of course, in a perfect world, we wouldn’t have to solve the social ills we are trying to solve as nonprofits. So that’s a…