Direct Mail for Year-End Fundraising

Most nonprofits are well-aware of the fact that nearly one-third of annual giving typically happens during the month of December, while 12 percent happens during the final three days of the year. Those numbers could be even higher this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

According to Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) of America, nearly three quarters of charitable organizations around the world have seen a decline in donations this year as most fundraising events have been cancelled or forced virtual. At the same time, the need for nonprofit services and funds has gone through the roof.

Giving Tuesday is quickly approaching, and most nonprofits will need a jolt from their year-end efforts to overcome challenges created by COVID. Direct mail can provide the kind of impact nonprofits need to meet fundraising goals and support their mission. Here are four recommendations to apply to your year-end strategy.

Clean Up Your Data

Check your database for duplicate and incorrect addresses, as well as deceased donors. If there are people who have never donated or haven’t donated for at least five years, it might be time to purge or at least archive those names so you can focus your efforts on people who are most likely to donate.

By ensuring your data is accurate, complete, and up to date, you improve the efficiency of your direct mail fundraising campaigns and create opportunities to personalize your mailings. More on that in a second.

Share Stories of Impact

Donors love to hear how their gifts made a difference. Some fundraising efforts refer to the sharing of these stories as closing the circle of giving. Tell these stories. Show photos of real-world impact. Provide links to videos.

When people see proof that their donations have been used to support causes that are important to them, they’ll feel a stronger emotional connection to your nonprofit. They’ll also be more likely to continue giving.

Make It Personal

Personal fundraising appeals are more likely to grab the attention of the recipient and motivate them to give. Variable data printing makes it possible to personalize just about any aspect of your direct mail campaign, from your year-end appeal letter to the photos and text in a postcard.

Mailings can be personalized based on different types of data in your database, including but not limited to:

  • Giving history (major donor, small donor, lapsed donor, programs supported, etc.)
  • Past participation and engagement with nonprofit events and social media activities
  • Demographics (Silent Generation, Baby Boomers, GenX, Millennials, etc.)
  • Matching opportunities
  • Location

Create Integrated, Omni-Channel Campaigns

Fundraising emails can be easily deleted or quickly pushed off the screen as new emails arrive. Direct mail, however, can be physically held, set aside, and placed on the fridge or coffee table, where it serves as constant reminder to take action.

To be clear, nonprofits should be communicating regularly with donors via email, especially during the month of December. However, those emails will have much more impact when integrated with direct mail, along with phone, text, and social media outreach, as part of an omni-channel fundraising campaign.

The more touchpoints you create, the more likely you are to secure the donation, whether someone clicks your online “donate” button or sends a check in the envelope you provided as part of your direct mail campaign.

Digital Dog Direct helps nonprofits optimize year-end fundraising campaigns and support their missions. If you’d like to discuss how direct mail can help you overcome COVID-related challenges, contact us to unleash the power of Digital Dog Direct.