Fundraising & Old Fashioned Printed Snail Mail

It's been around forever, but many nonprofits and missionaries are unaware that direct mail is the biggest donation driver in the nonprofit space.

You should know that last year (2020) saw the most significant increase ever in digital giving. This increase is the highest level ever measured. The digital rate grew to 13% from 8.7% in 2019.

Yet, even with that massive increase in digital giving, offline channels like snail-mail still generated more than 80% of direct marketing revenue for nonprofits.

Fundraising gold nugget: Electronic giving in 2020 only accounted for 13% of charitable fundraising.

"Direct mail is the single largest source for direct marketing revenue, hands down. The majority of individual donations in the US come from direct mail. Of individual donations to nonprofits, the vast majority is still driven by direct mail (GivingMail)."

What is "direct mail?" Direct mail is simply a piece of printed material that reports on a donor's gift or asks her to do something.

Fundraising gold nugget: Old-fashioned print mail can be the most potent channel for bringing donations to any nonprofit.

By far, direct mail is still the most popular way to reach donors.

It is a physical and tangible way to reach out:

  • It provides another touch point from you to your donor

  • It builds lifetime value

  • 67% of Americans say that they prefer printed materials over digital ones

  • 55% trust print marketing over any other advertising method

  • Haptics - the touch and feel of paper - provides a deeper understanding and engagement

  • Paper appeals engage viewers longer than digital ones

  • The majority of individual donations in the US come from direct mail

  • Donors believe print collateral is better at telling a touching story

  • Donors believe print collateral is better at conveying facts

You may be thinking now; We need to switch everything we are doing to direct mail response fundraising. But, that wouldn't be a great idea. Most great fundraisers agree that a multi-channel strategy works best; A system that includes both printed mail and digital.

Fundraising gold nugget: A winning strategy for fundraising includes both electronic AND printed collateral.

When a donor gives, they should get an automatic email generated from your organization's giving platform. If they are first-time donors, they should receive a text or a call from a person with a title in the organization. AND, after these electronic forms, they should receive a hand-printed, personalized thank you from a person with a title. AND, if it is their first gift, they should receive a printed welcome packet with your case for support.

Fundraisers who omit old-fashioned printed collateral sent through snail-mail are leaving money on the table.

I hope you get fully funded!


P.S. Let me know if this impacts your fundraising strategy,

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