Nonprofits Still Successful with Direct Mail Despite Economy
Wichita Falls, TX, March 23, 2009 — With the tightening of budgets, some large charities are scaling back on direct mail efforts, especially large scale donor acquisition mailings. However, the authors of a new book contend that it's important to keep direct mail as a fundraising strategy - just refine it so that it's more effective.
Sandra Sims and Sandy Rees have collaborated on a book called 7 Essential Steps to Raising Money By Mail that offers some of the most practical, step-by-step information available to staff and volunteers of small grassroots nonprofit organizations.
“This is not the time to stop communicating with supporters. People who have previously supported a cause still want to give, even if it's not to the level they have in the past. They also want to know that their donation is well spent, that is, going to directly impact the mission,” said Sims.
The book also emphasizes that sending mailings to new prospects is also still a worthwhile tactic. Importance is placed on refining the mailing list to the best prospects and being strategic about the way the letter is written. Timing the mailing for the best time of year and following up are also emphasized.
In the book, Sims and Rees provide simple, easy-to-follow instructions for writing a letter, choosing the best times to mail, and measuring results. The book also contains a chapter full of sample sentence starters for those who need extra help getting started writing. More than two dozen sample letters round out the book, giving readers a look at actual letters used successfully by organizations around the country.
In order to help groups to get the “biggest bang for the buck” the authors provide tips for cost savings and pitfalls to avoid.
“Using direct mail as a fundraising tactic has always been fun and easy for me,” said Rees. “I love watching the results of a good appeal come in and I’m thrilled to be able to share what I know with others."