12 Direct Mail Fundraising Strategies for Non-Profits – That are sure to drive donations

Undoubtedly, one of the most effective ways for non-profits to raise donations is through an effective direct mail strategy.

The direct mail strategies that worked in the past, are no longer as effective as they used to be, but taking advantage of these modern direct mail strategies for charities and non-profits will super-charge your fundraising efforts.

1. Past Donors

It is much easier to fundraise from existing donors than it is to get it from new donors. Your return on advertising spend will be much higher.

Show your donors the impact that their contribution has already made, and how much bigger that impact would be if they offered more support.

2. Thank you Letters

Let donors know how thankful you are for their support, and how much their donation has contributed toward your cause.

Reminding donors how much they’re donation is helping your non-profit will improve the life time donation and likelihood of the donor being engaged in the future.

Research shows that direct mail is particularly good for this as it creates a real physical connection that can’t be replicated with email.

3. Personalised postcards

Try sending personalised postcards as they will attract more attention, and yield higher responses rates that sending generic post.

You can use Postary to easily create this type of personalised postcard campaign to your donors.

This will work well when combined with any of the other strategies mentioned here.

4. Events

If you have a fundraising event, you can use direct mail to promote the event.

Tip: 85% of people will either not open or not pay attention to charity email marketing *. Send direct mail 5 days after sending email invites to see the boost in responses.

The direct mail can also double up as an entry ticket to the event. The physical ticket acts as a strong reminder for the event as it sits in the house for on average 17 days.

5. Give a Gift

Sending a small gift to donors is a nice gesture, try to keep the gift relevant as when the gift is relevant it can have a huge impact.

For example, check out the washing up gloves by Greenpeace:

Or this pillow by WWF

These types of gifts are very shareable on social media which will increase your exposure. The nature of the gifts is such that they are useful so the donor will always be reminded of your cause.

6. Remind of previous donations

Reminding donors about their previous donations gives you the opportunity to show them how of a contribution they’ve made (and therefore a reason for them to keep donating).

Do this effectively by showing numbers, telling stories, and making it clear that it couldn’t have been done without them.

Using personalisation here is extremely effective (See tip 3)

7. Trigger Emotion

The example above is a controversial one, but it’s a good idea to use softer emotional triggers to communicate your story.

For more incredibly clever direct mail examples see this list of examples.

8. Storytelling

Communicating via story telling is a great way to build an emotional connection about your non-profit’s history and vision for the future.

Every story has the same basic parts:

  • There is a problem in the world which needs to be solved
  • If the problem continues the problem will cause harm and distress
  • You (the donor) can solve this problem by working with us

9. Prospecting regional donors

Direct mail is also effective for acquiring new donors. For regional non-profits in particular you can attain mailing lists from your local authority from the open electoral register.

10. Reactivate lost donors

4/5 Donors will not donate again. This is a huge problem, but with the right message, you can encourage a lot more of these people to donate again.

The messaging you use to communicate with these people will be different, as they are already aware and for some reason have decided to not donate again, or have passively not taken action to do so again.

11. Cross channel

Combine direct mail with your digital strategy so they work together. For example, promote videos for an event on social media, send event information via email and drive the call to action with a sticker pack for direct mail.

People are much more likely to take action if they see your message repeatedly across multiple channels. When you combine direct mail with digital channels, you will massively increase its effectiveness.

12. Postcard marketing

Sending postcards or flyers are great because they are so visual, tactile, and easy to produce and can be personalised for each donor easily.

They’re the most cost-effective form of direct mail so therefore will be likely to drive the highest ROI.

If you want to create a postcard campaign quickly and easily, consider using Postary. Simple create your design, import your mailing list and we will print, send, personalise and track your direct mail campaign.

Contact us to learn more about our design service, how features like QR Codes and dynamic personalisation can improve the performance of your campaign.

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