Too Much Mail From Too Many Places
A couple of years ago, my sisters started participating in a nonprofit organization's annual special event walk, raising money to help support the charity's mission. Being a good brother and someone who took an interest in said organization's cause, I pledged money to them to aid in reaching their personal fundraising goals.
The walk took place in New York City, where both of my sisters live, and as a Philadelphia resident, I wasn't surprised when I got a few mailings from this organization for events in both New York and the Philadelphia region. Since, however, I have been surprised at the alarming amount of mail I've received from this group, promoting seemingly every walk it runs within a 100-mile radius of my home address.
It's gotten to the point of ridiculousness. I now receive mail from this nonprofit for every walk in New Jersey, Delaware and Northern Pennsylvania, in addition to the continued New York and Philadelphia region mailings. It's all a bit much.
I donated to a walk that took place in New York City. I live in Philadelphia. I expect to get information and appeals for events in those areas, not every event north of the Mason-Dixon Line. Honestly, it's turned me off to the organization a little bit despite the good, important work it does.
That's just not good marketing. I know that you can't raise funds if you don't ask, but this is where targeting comes into play. Simple giving history and geographic data would tell this organization I'm only interested in my region and the region in which my sisters live. Not the entire eastern seaboard.
Segmentation and targeting are vital in direct-mail fundraising. If you aren't using it, you risk losing donors altogether. Because if a donor receives too much mail from too many places from one nonprofit, it may bug him or her enough to tune all of its communications out.