If you are a new fundraiser, you might find yourself worried about what you don’t know and if it will cause you to lose dollars or donors. I know what that is like. When I was new executive director, I wanted to not only know what the overall view of fundraising was, I also wanted to know what I was doing or thinking that could hurt my fundraising efforts. Whether you are new or experienced in fundraising you will find answers to the question “Why should I send more mail to my donors?”
Today on our Bold Leading Podcast we will be talking about 9 reasons you should send more mail to your donors.
I'm Dave Sena from Bold Leading, This is your Bold Leading Podcast. We know life for nonprofits can sometimes get complicated and confusing. When you need a trusted friend to help you fundraise and grow your nonprofit without fear or panic, Bold Leading is here for you. Visit us at boldleading.com today or sign up for our “No Shame Strategy Call.” where we help you connect with donors and grow your nonprofit
I get asked all the time about how often a nonprofit should send mail to their donors. I always answer you should mail to your donors more than you think. When I talk with our clients, I always get the same response, “Dave, I throw away all the spam letters I get.”
I gently remind them we should not assume donors behave like us. Second, I remind them of the nine reasons they should send mail to donors more often. Many of these reasons may surprise you. They are things you don’t always think about.
After sending mail to tens of thousands of donors, I am convinced that donors want to hear more about the causes they love. I am also convinced there are tons of donors who want to fall in love with an organization that will consistently communicate with them. I am also convinced that direct mail can be a centerpiece of your integrated fundraising. It is the place where stories can begin and then infiltrate every media channel you have.
Direct mail forces you to send a letter to one person and tell them they matter, their money is changing lives, and you love them for it. If you can get that done in a letter, then you can adapt that to social media, video, and so much more.
When in doubt, start with a letter to a donor you love.
Today we will be giving you nine reasons that you should send more mail to your donors.
• Decrease your risk
• Get better at crafting your stories
• Get better stories
• More mailings can help you tell more stories
• You have to train your donors
• It can keep you more accountable
• It helps grab donors attention and keep your nonprofit top of mind
• It tells donors you care about them
• It give you more opportunities to be creative in your donor communications
1. When we send more mail to donors, we are decreasing our risk of donors not opening our mail. This assumes we are sending good to great mail. When you send more mail to donors, you are increasing your odds they will open at least one piece of your mail. The chance that they will open 1 of 5 envelopes you send is higher than the chances they will open that amazingly great thanksgiving letter which is the only letter you send. The chances all your donors will open that one piece of mail is lower than the chances all your donors will open at least one of the five pieces of mail you send.
2. Math is important, but how you craft the story for your nonprofit is even more important. You have to get better at writing your direct mail communications with donors. As you get better, people will start to get used to you mailing at certain times of year and your response rate will increase. Try different teasers on the outside of your mail. Experiment with color and images until you find the look that fits your organization and causes donors to respond to your mail.
3. When you send more mail to your donors, you have to find and tell more compelling stories. You have to mine for stories that highlight the impact your organization is making in the world. This means you have to look for the change you aspire to create. This can have a great effect on your whole organization when you are asking front line staff what is happening every day.
4. More mailings will help you tell more stories. Make sure you tell all staff and your board about recent stories of impact. This can cause your organization to have more enthusiasm for its work. Don’t assume everyone knows what you are doing, especially staff, board and donors.
5. One key to direct mail is consistency. We need to train and educate our donors so they know that they are getting great stories of change from us. When they see that consistent brand and know that you send them great stories and reasons they should give, they will start to respond more often to your mail.
6. Mailing often will cause you to be more accountable. If you only give one piece of mail a year, you are only able to reinforce your value after years of only sending one mail. Think about it. If I send one piece of mail a year. It will take me five years to reinforce with a donor their money is making a difference.
7. Nonprofits have to get their attention and be top of mind. That means they have five minutes of story out of 2.5 million minutes they will live in five years. It is not enough. If you want to gain people's attention, you have to be in their mailbox, inbox, on their social media feeds and at their special events.
8. When you send more mail, it tells donors you care about them. This would be like a young person telling someone they care and hope to marry, that they love them but only manage to send one letter a year. That does not show love. That says the exact opposite.
If you are a nonprofit that only mails once or twice a year, you may be telling donors that you do not have a very big impact or that you don’t care much about them.
9. More mailings gives you the ability to have a variety of stories and options for people to give. Donors may also think that you are only after their money if you only mail them once a year to ask for money. If you mail multiple times a year with stories of change that have direct and indirect asks, the variety of stories, stats and asks for money will give the donor the impression, you are having a conversation with them. They will be more connected from the heart and not the wallet.
When I say you have to send more mail, I mean that you have to send more meaningful mail that makes sense for your nonprofit and connects with your donor. Sending more bad mail to donors who don’t care will cost you money and relationships.
If you are doing it right, you can rest easy that you are not being a creepy nonprofit that stalks their donors. No, we are caring nonprofits that are so excited about the impact a donor is making that we cannot wait to give them another opportunity to have the joy of changing a life.
Sign up for our email newsletter or like us on facebook. We are here to help you connect with donors and grow your nonprofit. Life is too short to do direct mail poorly.
I'm Dave Sena from Bold Leading, This is your Bold Leading Podcast. We know direct mail for nonprofits can sometimes cause frustration, missed deadlines and nights without sleep.
When you need a trusted friend to help you consistently connect with donors and fund your growing nonprofit , Bold Leading is here for you. Visit us at boldleading.com today and sign up for our “No Shame Strategy” Call
Don’t miss your opportunity to have the best year ever with your donors. It all starts with one letter to a donor you love.