If you are part of a Non-Profit organization, you know that fundraising is always a challenge. Part of the fundraising process involves a continuous process of adding new members and donors, since existing donor attrition is inevitable. Below are some helpful tips that you may want to consider implementing as part of your fundraising plan.
- Create a communication strategy that involves maintaining regular contact with your members and donors. Both direct mail and email communications can be used to communicate with your members and they can often be used together to boost response rates.
- Let your members know about the good work you are doing and how their donations are being spent for these good causes.
- Thank your donors promptly for their gifts. Using a personalized letter that is signed by an officer is always a good idea. For larger gifts, a phone call to thank the donor may be in order. Show your donors your appreciation.
- Don’t ask for a donation in every communication you send to donors. Some of your communications should be more informative in nature; telling your donors about what you are doing and your plans for the future. If people know that you will ask for money every time they hear from you, they will likely tune out much of what you send them.
- Don’t lose sight of the 3 most important elements of your direct-mail fundraising: Your mailing list, your offer, and your design. You already know that your member and/or donor list is the best list. Consider having your existing donor database profiled so you can learn more about who your donors are. With this information, you can use it to find prospects who look and act the same as your donors and target them for prospect mailings and communications.
- Don’t expect prospect mailings to make money initially. Prospect mailings are designed to add new members. Once the prospect becomes a member, you can then appeal to them with future mailings and communications that can be quite profitable. Think of prospect mailings as a tool to develop new relationships with new members. Relationships take time to develop.
- Keep your mailing lists clean and updated to maximize the delivery of all mailings. And don’t forget to test everything about your mailings to determine what works best (and what doesn’t).
- Personalize your communications as much as possible. Address letters personally rather than generically. Show your members that you know them by name. Consider using the power of color variable data printing (VDP). VDP using color digital printing allows you to personalize your appeals using variable text and variable images and photos. The more information you have in your database about your members, the more personal you can make the communication that you send them.