What Goes On in the Mailbox?
Let’s climb out of the mailbox and into the donor’s hands, where there’s some conscious interaction with the piece of mail. This is the most harrowing part of the journey. It most often happens with the recipient standing over a trash can, making instant judgments, and dropping many pieces to their sad and untimely ends. This is the dread …
Instant death rate
It’s the saddest moment in fundraising: your earnest efforts to change the world getting trashed without a second thought. It might be that the wrong recipient is making the decision. Or the right recipient at the wrong time. Maybe she’s annoyed with your organization. Maybe she’s annoyed with a different organization and taking it out on you.
I’m guessing that at least half the pieces that survive the nondelivery and ignore rates fall here.
And there’s not a lot you can do about it. An excellent carrier envelope will help. A track record of being relevant with your donors will help. Superb customer service and flawless data will help.
Pieces that survive instant death have a chance at success. But they still have to get past some near-miss situations.
Sometimes a donor gets your appeal, pays attention to it, agrees with it, thinks well of it, but chooses not to give for reasons of her own. Her checking account balance is low. She just gave to someone else. She’s worried about her budget.
Some donors end up on the fence about giving to your appeal. They might be favorably inclined, but they put it aside to consider it later. Too bad: A gift delayed is usually a gift not made.
So many things can go wrong between the time a donor decides to give and when she actually gets a gift mailed. Maybe she can’t find the checkbook. Or a pen. Maybe the phone rings. Or a giant meteor hits her house. Your defense against these things: