Using direct mail for fundraising requires attention to detail and dedication. To make your direct mail a success you will need to employ as many best practices as possible. The goal is to raise as much money as possible to support your mission.
Solve A Problem
Your nonprofit will have fundraising for many purposes -whether to raise funds for the general fund or for equipment- and you must present the cause to your donors. Be passionate about the cause. Ask the following questions before you send out your direct mail:
- Will people donate to your campaign?
- Do I need to mail to everyone on my mailing list?
- Is direct mail the best way for fundraising for this campaign?
Keep in mind that donors might be more inclined to donate to a specific event than to help fund a new roof. Think about what your donors will care about and if direct mail will be the best way to request funds for that cause.
Keep A Clean Mailing List
The best way to ensure a good ROI is to keep an accurate and good mailing list. This should include donors that are reliable and high-quality prospects. In addition, it should have updated information from NCOA and CASS. We provide this service to assure that your list is kept current.
Concentrate on the Copy
Deliver a compelling message throughout your entire direct mail piece. Make it clear what you want your donors to do. Don’t add too many calls to action because then the donors may end up taking no action. If the direct mail piece is advertising an event, focus your copy on that actual event.
P.S. Most donors will read this before reading anything else. Capture them with a testimonial or statement that says that the letter is worth reading.
Include a SASE (Self-Addressed Stamped Envelope)
The best way to solicit a response is to add a SASE. This allows donors to mail in their donation. You can even obtain a permit to offer postage-paid return envelopes. Another option to SASE would be to direct donors to your website to make a donation.
Schedule The Mailings
Have a calendar on hand to plan your mailings. Planning matters for direct mail – you don’t, and shouldn’t send to every donor every time. Direct mail can get expensive so plan your mailings in advance.
After you pay for the letters, ink, paper and envelope there still remains one more piece- the postage. Bulk postage rates can help if you are sending a mailing of 200 pieces or more.
Test, Test and Test Again
Most likely you are sending direct mail to thousands of donors. This is a great opportunity to track and see how many people respond. Consider tracking the following:
- How many letters are returned
- Donation amounts
- Type of response (for events)
- Your ROI
We recommend following these guidelines for your fundraising. If you have any questions give us a call at 1-800-984-4266. We can help guide you through your direct mail campaign.