Get Out of Your Direct-Mail Comfort Zone
A lot of people aren't getting fundraising appeals
I get direct-mail appeals daily plus e-appeals, so I am always surprised when someone tells me that he or she hasn't received a single appeal in the mail since I announced six weeks earlier to watch for them. Sure, some of these students are young adults, probably struggling with student loans and the lousy hiring environment. But it makes me wonder.
Are we being creative in finding potential donors outside of the rented mailing lists? For many nonprofits, the answer is yes. But some are still not thinking outside the (mail)box when it comes to donor acquisition. We need to keep making small investments into alternate options, refining and learning to see where else we can acquire donors. For example, I don't know a magic formula for acquiring donors through social media, but I want to keep trying. Are there targeted newspapers or magazines that sell low-cost ad space?
I'm not advocating jeopardizing your nonprofit's solvency. Cautiously invest in some nonstandard options and see if you can find where another potential donor segment is hanging out.
Our donors get bored
A student brought in a mailing from a local organization. She had been a member for a while but had never given above her membership dues because the mail it sent her wasn't appealing. Then the organization sent a colorful package that actually looked fun and interesting. The student decided to send in a gift because she was drawn into the mailing with great graphics and then stuck around because of compelling copy and a strong offer.
Yes, we save money with white No. 10 envelopes and two-color printing. But are we lulling our donors into ignoring us? Get creative on your year-end mailing, for example, and see if you can generate more support.