There’s a lot to be said about failure. Mainly that it stinks. No, seriously — failure helps you appreciate success a little more, right? And on a less existential level, it can teach you a lot about what not to do next time around. That’s no more apparent than in the world of direct-mail fundraising efforts. And from what we hear, it happens to the best of them. So to prove you’re not alone when one of your ideas isn’t as all-fire successful as you had hoped, here are a few failure stories from fundraising pros. Hear Ye, Hear Ye … Don’t Traumatize Your
DMA Nonprofit Federation
“Being in your cubicle eight hours a day is a wonderful thing, but you have to get a life. If you send out 20 [direct-mail] packages a month, that’s a wonderful thing, but you have to get a life. Don’t hide behind the curtain of direct mail.” — Derreck Kayongo, advocacy field coordinator, CARE, addressing the idea that fundraisers need to be donors, advocates and activists in their own lives as well, during his Jan. 24 keynote speech on “Why Our Work as Nonprofits Counts” at the DMA Nonprofit Federation’s 2008 Washington Nonprofit Conference in Washington, D.C.
One of the biggest challenges to telefundraising is making contact with the people you’re calling. But Jim Chmielewski, vice president of client services for telemarketing firm Public Interest Communications, says it’s worth the effort. For one thing, you can get immediate feedback from the person you’re contacting, whereas with direct mail, it takes time to receive feedback -- if you get any at all. So if an organization is looking to test a new case statement or issue, the telephone is great for that because it can get immediate feedback from its members. The telephone also works well when trying to convert
Washington, DC, February 8, 2007 - The Direct Marketing Association Nonprofit Federation (DMANF) is asking the United States Postal Service to delay the implementation of regulations that would more than double the postage for many nonprofit mail pieces. In its formal comments, the DMANF expressed serious concerns that the proposed regulations will dramatically increase postage costs for nonprofit mailers by pushing pieces that currently qualify as automation rate flats (as well as some letter mail that exceeds 3.5 ounces) into the significantly higher priced Not Flat-Machinable (“NFM”) and parcel rate categories. Among the mail packages that will be affected are flat-size pieces that contain