Weather Is Fine ... Wish You Would Give
Nonprofit organizations face numerous challenges in today’s competitive environment, including limited operating budgets, particularly for marketing, and a flood of organizations vying for the public’s charitable dollars. Donors are extremely selective with their contributions and might only donate to one or two organizations annually that speak to their personal sentiments, interests and demographic.
Therefore, nonprofits can benefit from taking proactive measures to analyze the psychologies of their financial contributors and leverage this information to develop highly targeted marketing campaigns.
The motivations of these charitable adults can be related to many things, such as their personalities, sociodynamics, personal experiences and life stages. Consequently, nonprofits must utilize the proper fundraising techniques in order to communicate their key messages to these varied audiences.
It’s no secret that one of the most effective distribution methods for nonprofit organizations has been direct mail. According to the Direct Marketing Association, 53 percent of nonprofits use direct mail for fundraising, and that number is expected to grow exponentially in the coming years by 7.5 percent from 2005 to 2009 (Source: DMA Trends & Benchmarks in Business to Business Direct Marketing, 2006).
But not all direct mail is created equal. To get the most out of this proven fundraising medium, nonprofits must filter through numerous options to choose the most appropriate vehicle. Industry experts such as the DMA report that postcards have the highest read rate among all types of direct mail (Source: 2005 DMA Statistical Fact Book).
Postcards offer an immediate connection with intended audiences by placing messages directly in the hands of individuals rather than requiring letters and e-mails to be opened and then read. Furthermore, postcards can immediately showcase vivid imagery that triggers an emotional reaction, which is more likely to garner an active response.
Consider this scenario: A potential contributor is presented with a story about a malnourished child in a Third World country. The letter goes on for two pages highlighting the physical and emotional anguish of relentless hunger. As poignant as the story may seem, the reader is less likely to read the full account of suffering in the form of a letter. In contrast, a picture of a starving toddler in an underdeveloped country with concise but powerful text is more captivating and a significantly stronger call to action. Typically, written information presented in black and white alone pales in comparison to a similar message conveyed with full-color picture postcards.