Is your organization pushing the envelope” with direct mail? Tell us
about your most daring DM efforts.
— FS Advisor, Feb. 7, 2006
Creative Direct Response mailed an emergency appeal for Doris Day Animal League after Hurricane Katrina, asking Congress to reverse FEMA’s rule prohibiting pets in public shelters. This emergency appeal was risky because weather disasters are rarely about animals; the focus is typically on human suffering.
This straight-letter petition package pulled a 6.09 percent response and netted $129,408. The average gift was $16.87, $5 higher than projected for the mailing that was bumped to address this crisis. Fifty-three percent of the gifts were higher than $25.
This risky appeal paid off because it mailed during media coverage of thousands of abandoned animals in New Orleans after Katrina.
— Lisa Hill,
Creative Direct Response
My organization is but six years old, and we’ve just recently started our first direct mailing. I don’t know what took us so long. To raise funds for
our new Boys & Girls Club and Community Center ... two people with local ties authored a letter and put it on our letterhead. What more could we ask for when the two signatures are from the former ambassador to Japan and a congressman? If you have a good cause, they will help — but you have to ask!
— Terrie Cross,
Appalachian Life Quality Initiative
What’s the most useful piece of information you took away from
the DMA Nonprofit Federation 2006 Annual Conference in Washington, D.C.?
— FS Advisor, Feb. 21, 2006
One of the most important topics was discussed during the "vendor forum” [titled] “Partners That Partner.” The concept is that no one partner can provide all of the products and services to their nonprofit clients, and it is absolutely essential to reach out to other suppliers that can fill the
gaps. We shouldn’t let our fear of introducing other partners into the mix stop us from providing what is best for our nonprofit clients.
— Lori Collins,
corporate vice president,
Does your organization use the phone as a fundraising tool? What are the important lessons you’ve learned as a result?
— FS Advisor, Jan. 17, 2006
Some nonprofit organizations manage their direct-mail and telephone fundraising programs independently of each other, leading to inefficiencies that increase their donor-acquisition costs and often do not optimize total donation volume. We have found that by segmenting mail and phone donor files, and using the telephone to reactivate certain strategic segments of lapsed mail donors, many nonprofits increase total donation volumes while reducing acquisition costs. Nonprofits can also test the telephone channel to follow up acquisition and renewal mailings with careful segmentation strategies. By coordinating mail and phone efforts and appeal content, both
channels work more effectively together.
— Jeffrey Plaut,
vice president of sales and marketing,
121 Direct Response