Special Report: Fundraising 101 Direct Mail
8. Be accountable
Accountability is important these days, especially for the younger donors we all covet. Explaining how careful and efficient you are with donors’ hard-earned money is helpful. Describe exactly what their donations will do. You also can include this messaging on the back of the reply slip. For example, use a pie chart that illustrates the high percentage of funds that go directly to the mission.
9. Reinforce your brand
The essence of your brand is a set of shared values that you have in common with your donors. They became donors because they feel the same way you do about an issue that is very important to them, whether it be fighting cancer, helping homeless people or protecting animals. You have a connection, a bond — and the act of giving satisfies an important need in the hearts and minds of your donors. It makes them feel good. Every message your donors receive should remind them of why they gave to your organization in the first place. Reinforce your brand, nurture that common bond, and make the donor more involved in your mission and more loyal to your cause.
10. Integrate new methods and media
If you’re like most fundraisers, you’ve been collecting donor e-mails on reply slips for some time now. Building your e-mail list “organically” this way is best. It’s also common practice to include a URL on each direct-mail package that drives folks who prefer to give online to a unique landing page. The landing page echoes the look and feel of the direct-mail appeal and allows you to measure results.
Test e-mail blasts that focus on specific offers or urgent needs. Test e-mail and phone as a premail setup or postmail reminder for special programs such as monthly donor clubs. SMS, or text messaging, also is being explored by some organizations to engage young people.