Direct Mail

Once Is Not Enough: Why You Need a Multichannel Fundraising Campaign
October 20, 2016 at 10:18 am

If you think you can send one fundraising appeal and then wait for the donations to pour in, you’re in for a rude awakening. Your donors are busy and may put your letters aside to handle later, and then never get to them. Or, they may not see your fundraising email in their ever-growing inboxes.…

U.S. Postal Service Seeks Rate Increase for January 2017
October 14, 2016 at 9:53 am

Here’s an important stamp date: Sunday, Jan. 22, 2017. That’s when the U.S. Postal Service has told mailers it wants to implement its next rate change. But it’s unknown if the Postal Service will use its annual rate change to seek an end the 47 cent first-class stamp. By law, the USPS cannot raise stamp…

Writing Winning Direct Mail Appeals
October 7, 2016 at 9:19 am

Conversations with a few clients have led me to believe that if you ask 10 different development professionals what makes a good appeal letter, you will get 10 different answers. What really makes a good appeal, though, is its ability to connect people to how they can make an impact in an area they care deeply about. Here's how you can write one that does just that...

5 Long-Time Direct Mail Controls and Why They Still Work
September 20, 2016 at 9:47 am

People ask me all the time what type of direct mail is most worth studying for ideas. Even before I mention whatever is being mailed in their industry, I recommend the Grand Controls. These are the best packages, the box office champions that have driven the most customer and donor response. A few weeks ago, I pored through my database of 1,672 of them to find the longest-running controls still in the mail today...

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…