ATLANTA—A study carried out by research company Campbell River on behalf of the non-profit advisory body, Dunham+Company, found that people were more than three times as likely to donate after being contacted by direct mail than by e-mail.
The researchers asked people making a donation what had prompted them to make a contribution to the charity. The portion of people who were donating after receiving a direct mail appeal was 17 percent, more than three times higher than the 5 percent who had been prompted to donate by an e-mail.
Rick Dunham, CEO of Dunham+Company, described the results of the study as “a bit of a shock.” Dunham notes that recipients pay more attention to a physical object that comes into their mailbox than e-mail, which he points out is easily deleted.
According to the study, donors in the 40-59 age categories are the most responsive to direct mail—47 percent of them responded to receiving a letter by making a donation in 2012, which is a dramatic increase from 34 percent in 2010. Donors over the age of 60 also respond well to direct mail—24 percent of them donated in 2012 after receiving a letter, an increase of 6 percent since 2010.
Printing Impressions Magazine, 2012
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To Your Success!
With budgets tightening, memberships falling, governments and private givers cutting back it is easy to to understand why non-profits are closely evaluating the costs and benefits associated with fundraising. Postage is making traditional direct mail appeals less attractive. The buzz over social media, QR Codes and email campaigns is often not much more than hype when it comes to meeting fundraising goals. This is not to say that all hope is lost for non-profit marketing for fundraising. Many non-profits are successfully using a mix of all of these tools with fantastic results.
No matter what media or mix of media you use for non-Profit marketing the fundamentals have not changed. The most important considerations are still your target and your appeal or offer. You must consider your goal first to make the best choices of what tools to use.
You must also shift focus from cost alone to ROI (return on investment). When I work with non-profit clients to develop campaigns the first thing I want to determine is what is the pool of potential givers or members. Second, what is the value of a response. From there we can typically work some predictive analytics to project a realistic potential ROI. If the numbers don’t add up I recommend we change our plan altogether.
Print, Mail, pURLs, QR Codes, Email, Social media etc, are all wonderful tools that can help us reach our fundraising or membership goals but must be put together in a well thought out well planned campaign. Embrace these new tools but never lose site of the basic fundamentals of marketing.
To Your Success!
With more than 20 years as a non-profit museum employee Chris has seen from the inside out the many challenges faced by non-profits across the spectrum. He also consults non-profits of every kind in running successful fundraisers and membership drives through AccuLink, a national marketing services provider. Feel free to contact Chris should you have any questions or want to discuss your goals and challenges.