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Is Direct Mail Fundraising a Good Fit for Your Non-Profit

Your non-profit’s mission is to serve a cause that is meaningful to you and your team. You want to spend time in the field in order to serve your mission.  However, that isn’t possible unless you have the money to support your activities.  Direct mail is still a major player in non-profit fundraising, but it could be disastrous if not executed properly.  Here are a few tips to help your non-profit raise money using direct mail.


Maximize your donations from existing donors

Whether you are starting a direct mail campaign for your non-profit or building on an existing one, start with your list of current donors (house file).  You know the donors on this list are familiar with your organization and are much more likely to donate when compared to some one that is unfamiliar with your organization.  Starting here will ensure that you bring in the maximum ROI on your campaign when testing. 

Any non-profit should be reaching out to their existing donors in order to maximize their lifetime value.  Weather your current donor base is 15 or 100,000 you should have a direct mail marketing plan in place.  Your internal donor list is highly valuable to your organization and you should treat it that way.  Be sure to treat these previous donors with respect.  Don’t just ask for money with your solicitations.  Make them feel like a part of you organization.  Involve them with newsletters that show them what you have done with their donations, let them know what you want to achieve in the upcoming months and years, and share with them success stories of those they have helped. They are much more likely to give again if they feel like they have really helped your cause.


Be careful when prospecting for new donors

It is essential to bring in new donors in order to continue to build your non-profit.  Prospecting is a craft and much different from mailing your existing donors.  These are cold leads and need to be treated as such. You need to build mail pieces that will capture the attention of the prospects and make them feel compelled to contribute to your cause.  Prospect campaigns should consist of small segments from multiple sources as well as have multiple creative presentations.  These variations will help you test and find the best creatives and data sources in order to maximize the ROI of your prospect campaigns.  Once you find the right data sources and creative pieces then it is time to scale you efforts.

Remember when prospecting to look at the big picture.  You will want to consider the lifetime value of your donors when looking at the results and not just the donations from the prospect mailing.  Someone that gave $20 on the prospect campaign may end up donating $1000 over the next few years if you make them feel connected to your cause.  It is ok to lose a little money on your prospecting.  You will make this up as you contact this donor through your existing donor file mailings.


Have a means to manage and test your campaigns

The most important part of any marketing effort is to make sure you can track your results.  Having a database and tracking solution is inevitable to the success of your campaign.  You will want to make sure your mailings are segmented as much as possible so you can break results down by demographics, data source, customer history, and creative piece mailed.  Being able to see what is converting new and existing donors will help you build your campaigns on what is working. Using a campaign management software is highly recommended in order to review and get the most information back from the data.


Build and Scale on what is working

Once you find the right mail pieces and the right data segments then it is time to scale and let your mail campaign work for you.  Scaling by increasing you prospect mailings will allow you to build the volume of your house file mailings. A well ran direct mail campaign can help you raise the money you need in order to achieve your goals.

Need help with your direct mail campaign

If you are looking for help developing your direct mail campaigns or managing your existing campaigns please feel free to reach out for a consultation so we can help you and your organization develop a campaign that works for your organization. Contact Us Here.









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