Direct Mail

The Sexy New Way to Fundraise? Trust Your Mail
May 6, 2016 at 9:56 am

So have all the cool kids moved to digital? Is mail so yesterday? Sometimes it seems like that’s what I’m hearing. And I often feel like a grandma, warning people not to move everything online. But grandma or not, I’ll keep doing it. I know the arguments: Yes, email is cheaper to send. Yes, online…

Make Your Newsletter a Moneymaker
May 5, 2016 at 8:00 am

Yes, I know how much it costs to send out a newsletter. But I also know that done right, a newsletter is a moneymaker for your organization. It’s a win-win—more net income and more opportunities to build loyal donors. In other words, a newsletter is one of the remedies we can apply to dwindling donor-retention rates. Done well, a newsletter can be a dollop of glue to bind your donors to the organization...

The Power of Offline, Low-Tech Personalized Donor Communications
April 6, 2016 at 10:35 am

You might find it a bit odd that the CEO of a fundraising technology company might be writing about old-fashioned methods of personalizing communications. I recently had an in-depth discussion with a prospective customer regarding the extent of bulk personalization that is attainable via mail merges, through the hundreds of fields of standard and custom…

Don’t Let 1,835 Cats Kill Your Fundraising
March 31, 2016 at 10:39 am

Every year, my favorite charity saves 1,835 cats in Vancouver, British Columbia. But it doesn’t talk to me about that. It tells me about one cat at a time. Why? Because it understands what makes a great thank-you letter. The thank-you letter is an often-neglected piece of donor communication. It sits, stale and unattended, getting…

8 Ways to Create Print Materials Your Older Donors Want to Read
March 17, 2016 at 11:33 am

Even as nonprofits work like crazy to have a strong online presence for both younger and older donors, they also send out a heap of direct-mail fundraising letters with numerous printed pieces in each package. They also often print newsletters and annual reports. In short, there is no lack of stuff in print. But are…

How Did 2015 Fundraising Impact 2016?
February 12, 2016 at 9:56 am

Last year was big across the fundraising landscape. While the industry continues to struggle with reduced performance (efficiency) of direct mail, leading groups were tackling the hard questions. By now, the book on 2015 should be closed for most organizations, and it won’t be long before we get the scorecard on our industry’s performance last year. In the meantime, I’ve highlighted some important observations on charitable giving in 2015 and their impact on 2016...

The 10th Annual Gold Awards for Fundraising Excellence
January 19, 2016 at 8:00 am

NonProfit PRO underwent plenty of change in 2015: new name, new look, new website and more. But one thing that’s stayed the same is our focus on fundraising. So, it is with great pride that we continue the tradition begun 10 years ago by FundRaising Success. We present to you the Gold Awards for Fundraising Excellence.

Direct Mail in 2016: What to Watch For
January 13, 2016 at 11:41 am

Before we dive in headfirst into this year, I wanted to look back at the last 365 days in fundraising. I think we can all agree that it was an odd one when it comes to direct-mail results. From the Good Works perspective, 2015 was one of the hardest to predict in terms of revenue…

Copywriting for Beginners
January 12, 2016 at 10:09 am

There are a lot of ways to write well. When you’re going for “beautiful but confusing,” think James Joyce. When you’re going for “clear and motivating”—as most of us are when writing copy for communications materials—"Ulysses" probably shouldn’t be your inspiration. So, what does good copy look like? Here are a few tips we Big…