Special Report: Fundraising 101 Direct Mail
Above all, enjoy the process of creating your fundraising appeal. You are engaged in noble work that benefits a good cause. And remember, even the pros make rookie mistakes from time to time. But that’s rare, because they focus on fundamentals. Get those down cold and you’ll have instincts and reactions that you can rely on, even with crazed deadlines. You’ll be a strong performer, a clutch player. You’ll be a pro.
10 Things You MUST Know About Direct-Mail Fundraising in a Tough Economy
By Steve Maggio
1. Don’t panic
Keep in mind that direct-mail fundraising has survived serious crises in the past. There was a terrible recession in the early ’70s — 1973 to 1975 were particularly tough years.
More recently, we’ve come through the terrorist attacks and anthrax scares of 2001, and the effects of major natural disasters such as the tsunami in Southeast Asia and Hurricanes Katrina and Rita on America’s Gulf Coast. In each case, most direct-mail fundraising programs took a serious hit. But the economy, and our industry, bounced back.
Should we set expectations a bit lower this year? I believe so. But I’m not recommending drastic changes in any of our clients’ programs.
We’re all in the same boat, people! This, too, shall pass. The short-term economic outlook might be dire, but an injection of new ideas could put us on the path to recovery before the year is out. And some direct-mail donors become motivated by a poor economy, because it’s obvious that more people are hurting.
Fundraising programs will rebound with a combination of “back to basics” direct-mail strategy and an embrace of new media and technology to help us adapt to our changing world.