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7 Fundraising Tips with Direct Mail Marketing for Non-Profits

Fundraising is the lifeblood of Non-Profit organizations, enabling them to achieve their missions and make a meaningful impact on their communities. While there are countless fundraising tips for Non-Profits, Direct Mail Marketing remains a powerful and effective strategy for Non-Profits. We’ll dive into valuable fundraising tips and tricks, including how to help Non-Profits maximize their fundraising efforts through Direct Mail Marketing.

But first, let’s address some fundamental questions:

1. What are the 4 basic types of fundraising?

  • Individual Giving: This is what we’re focused on in this article, where you’re contacting the individual donor with Direct Mail appeal, online campaigns, digital marketing, social media, and more.
  • Institutional Giving: Institutional giving comes from organizations, foundations, corporations, and grants. Direct Mail has its place with this audience, but it must be more personal and oftentimes as letters.
  • Events and Campaigns: Galas, events, charity runs, charity auctions, crowdfunding campaigns, and telethons are all activities that use community engagement and social networks to generate donations. Direct Mail has a terrific role in promoting these specific events to individual donors or new audiences.
  • Major Gifts and Planned Giving: These are the larger, long-term donations that require personalized and long-term relationship-building strategies. Where Direct Mail has a place is with personal thank-you notes and cards to those who bequeath some of their estate to the cause.
A group of non profit organization members handing out t-shirts and doing community outreach thanks to direct mail marketing

2. What is the hardest part about fundraising?

The hardest part of fundraising often lies in convincing potential donors to part with their hard-earned money. Building trust and showing donors the tangible impact of their contributions can be challenging. As you know, fundraising requires consistent effort and creativity to stand out in a competitive landscape.

3. How can I fundraise without selling anything?

Non-Profits can fundraise without selling products by focusing on the emotional connection donors have with their cause. Instead of selling tangible items, Non-Profits appeal to donors’ sense of empathy, values, and desire for positive change. Direct Mail Marketing, as we will discuss, is one effective way to do this.

4. What makes a successful fundraiser?

While these 5 keys to successful fundraising seem simple, they are the best way to ensure success:

  • Clear Mission and Storytelling: Non-Profits with a clear mission and a compelling story are more likely to attract donors who want to make a difference.
  • Targeted Audience: Understanding your audience’s interests and motivations allows you to tailor your fundraising efforts effectively.
  • Diverse Fundraising Methods: A mix of fundraising methods, including Direct Mail Marketing, events, online campaigns, and partnerships, can expand your donor base.
  • Transparency and Accountability: Donors appreciate transparency regarding how their contributions are used and the impact they create.
  • Ongoing Engagement: Cultivating relationships with donors over time through newsletters, updates, and gratitude expressions can lead to long-term support.

The inevitable question is “What type of fundraisers make the most money?”. And, it depends on the Non-Profit and what has worked in the past. Usually, big-ticket items like an auction, gala, or event will make the most in-the-moment. But, the most value comes from recurring donations and the increasing the number of engaged donors. A wider pool of donors make the most overall, sustainable, and repeatable long-term impact.

And that’s where Direct Mail Marketing can help!

Now, let’s dive into Direct Mail Marketing as a crucial tool in the Non-Profit fundraising toolbox and explore some fundraising tips and ideas to make it more effective.

Woman in a red shirt reading mail at home in a kitchen

Best Fundraising Tips with Direct Mail Marketing

Direct Mail Marketing is a time-tested method for Non-Profits to engage donors, share their mission, and generate financial support. Here are some fundamentals to make the most out of your Direct Mail campaigns:

1. Personalize

Personalization is key to making donors feel valued and connected to your cause. Ensure that your Direct Mail materials, including letters, envelopes, and response forms, are tailored to each recipient.

  • Segment Your Donor List: While this is true for any Direct Mail campaign, it’s especially important for Non-Profits, where you should have donor records and activity. Segmentation enables you to create relevant messaging for improved response. The important thing is to look at your database and determine what makes sense for your specific needs and fundraising goals.
  • By segmenting your donor base into different subcategories, you can easily create fundraising messages that make sense for each specific group. You can tailor your communication by demographics such as age, geographical location, household income, etc.

    Another way to segment your audience is by donor status (active or dormant), average donation amount, last donation date, donation channel preference (online, phone, physical check), etc.

  • Use Recipient’s Name: People who enjoy supporting a cause will appreciate the extra mile an organization takes to ensure the communication efforts are tailored to them, personally. A simple first name greeting goes a long way. In addition, you can add any elements from your database that’s appropriate, like referencing the month of their previous donation. It shows you’re paying attention and that you value their relationship.
  • Tell Personal Stories: Share personal stories of individuals who have benefited from your Non-Profit’s work. Personal narratives are compelling and resonate with donors. Let them know in detail what you have accomplished based on past donations. It’s important for donors to see that their support is put to good use, as it is knowing you need their funding.
A woman working on NonProfit Fundraising Marketing

2. Craft a Compelling Fundraising Message

Your fundraising message is the heart of your Direct Mail campaign. It should clearly convey your Non-Profit’s mission, the impact of donations, and a strong call to action. Whatever your message is, make sure they know that nothing would be possible without their generous support. When writing copy for your Non-Profit organization, follow these key copy guidelines:

  • Keep the paragraphs in your Direct Mail piece short and concise
  • Include bullet points if applicable
  • Use high-resolution images and vibrant colors to stand out in the mail
  • The CTA should be easy to spot and your contact information prominently displayed
  • Focus on the “Why”: Explain why your Non-Profit’s work is essential and how it addresses a pressing need or issue in your community.
  • Highlight Success Stories: Share success stories and concrete examples of how donations have made a difference. This demonstrates the real impact of giving.
  • Include a Clear Call to Action: Tell donors exactly how they can contribute and what their donations will accomplish. Make it easy for them to take action.
  • When you write your CTA, we encourage you to get creative and specific to your organization. Below are some general examples to get you started:
    • Join us!
    • Include bullet points if applicable
    • Make a donation today!
    • Every donation makes a difference. Please give today!
    • Please send items to the following address:
    • Support a child/an animal/a senior in need!
    • Help us save [insert cause here] by donating today!
    • Support our mission! Sign up / Give today.

3. Emphasize the Power of Regular Giving

Encourage donors to become regular givers by setting up monthly or yearly donations. Regular giving provides your Non-Profit with stable, predictable income.

  • Offer Easy Recurring Options: Provide clear instructions on how donors can set up recurring donations. Make the process as straightforward as possible.
  • Highlight Benefits: Explain the benefits of regular giving, such as being part of an exclusive donor community or receiving updates on your Non-Profit’s work.
  • Express Gratitude: Show appreciation for those who choose to become regular donors. Regular giving is a significant commitment, and donors should feel recognized for it.

4. Use Eye-Catching Visuals

Incorporate visual elements into your Direct Mail materials to capture donors’ attention and convey your message more effectively.

  • Include Images and Graphics: Use high-quality images that illustrate your Non-Profit’s work and the impact of donations. Infographics can also simplify complex information.
  • Design Consistency: Maintain a consistent and engaging visual theme throughout your Direct Mail campaign, including colors, fonts, and branding elements.
  • Use White Space: Avoid clutter and ensure that your message has enough white space to be easily digestible.

5. Provide Multiple Donation Options

Make it easy for donors to contribute by offering various donation methods, including online giving, check payments, and phone donations.

  • Online Giving: Include a website URL or QR code that leads donors to an online donation page. Ensure the page is mobile-friendly and secure.
  • Prepaid Envelopes: Include prepaid return envelopes for donors who prefer to mail in their donations by check. This can be especially helpful when marketing to an older generation.
  • Phone Support: Provide a phone number donors can call for assistance or to make a donation over the phone.
Woman wearing a blue top and glasses is working from home on a computer while working on a direct mail marketing campaign

6. Express Gratitude and Follow Up

After receiving donations, it’s crucial to express gratitude and maintain donor engagement.

  • Timely Thank-Yous: Send personalized thank-you cards, letters, emails or texts promptly after receiving donations. Express genuine appreciation for their support.
  • Provide Updates: Keep donors informed about your Non-Profit’s progress, achievements, and upcoming projects. Regular updates show how their contributions are making a difference.
  • Involve Donors: Invite donors to events, volunteer opportunities, or exclusive donor appreciation gatherings to deepen their connection to your cause.

7. Make a Plan with Frequency and Consistency

Direct Mail Marketing is a great way to connect with donors, but of course it’s not your only marketing channel. Create a plan that mixes up different touches from different channels, so your audience receives email, SMS, phone outreach, social media, digital advertising, partnerships, event marketing, and more over the course of a year.

We suggest creating a program schedule for each fundraising campaign. The schedule should pinpoint when each channel touch will be deployed and what message, or call-to-action, will be used. It’s important to stay consistent with copy, design, and call-to-action across all channels.

The frequency of your marketing efforts need to strike a delicate balance. For Direct Mail specifically, we suggest to reach out to your donor base no more than once per quarter; update them on a fundraising goal, share a successful milestone, celebrate a mission accomplished, ask for a donation, etc. Emails can come monthly or every three weeks, whereas Facebook ads can be delivered more often.

Fundraising tips and ideas evolve over time, so it’s essential for Non-Profits to stay adaptable and open to new strategies. Ultimately, what makes a fundraiser successful is a combination of clear communication, a compelling mission, donor engagement, and a commitment to making a positive impact on the community.

If you have questions about what CTA phrase to use, or how to craft your message to best suit your Non-Profit’s needs, let’s get in touch!

Creating Direct Mail for your Non-Profit is an important piece in your marketing outreach and we’re here to help every step of the way. Modern Postcard supports every aspect of a Direct Mail program, from lists, design and copywriting to shipping, mailing and tracking.

Let’s start a conversation! Give our Direct Marketing Consultants a call at 800.959.8365

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