Why Direct Mail Still Matters (for some Nonprofits)
Yes, even in 2020, Nonprofits still use direct mail. And yes, people still like receiving certain items in the mail. We are going to base this article off of personal experience (alongside of our expertise in marketing for Nonprofits). Today, I received a piece of mail from a Nonprofit that helps fight food insecurity in the Philadelphia area. I made this donation when Pennsylvania went into their shutdown due to Covid-19, because I knew a lot of children and families depended on our school systems for at least two, if not, three meals a day. I was feeling helpless, so I decided to give to this organization because they have a great reputation and my family is a regular donor.
The piece of mail I received:
This was all on one sheet of paper, along with an already addressed envelope back to the organization:
- A thank you with an explanation of the impact my donation had, and why donations still matter without directly asking for a donation.
- A card that is able to be punched out, that says the organization's name, ‘supporter' and my name.
- A detachable bottom that included:
- Let's keep in touch with a space to enter my email address.
- A space where I could check off if she wanted more information. This included legacy planning/wills, volunteering, becoming a monthly donor and coming in for a tour.
- The opportunity to donate again, with two choices. The same amount I gave last time and an empty space where I could give more.
- The back of this detachable bottom also had a space where I could choose to give my credit card number, as well as a two options to become a monthly donor via credit card or my checking account.
Why you should be doing this:
Let's start by saying, I have been thinking about making a donation to this organization again, but after getting this piece of mail, I am 100% going to give again. I am even going to up my donation because I think this was so well done. If that alone wasn't enough reasoning on why you should be doing this, here are some more reasons:
- At this point, I feel like a broken record, but a thank you is ALWAYS needed. It's also a great follow up because when making a donation, you want to know that it actually made an impact. When someone feels good and sees what their donation did, they're more inclined to donate again.
- The personalized supporter card is, quite frankly, genius. People are proud of their donations, and this card allows folks to show it off or it simply serves as a certificate. Not to mention, let's say you put your supporter card in your wallet. Every time you go fumbling through your wallet, you are then reminded of this great organization that so much appreciates your participation. You are most likely then going to be thinking about making another donation, if not make the donation.
- The detachable bottom is a great way of asking for a donation, without saying “donate again.” You are showing the value of your donor. You are allowing them to stay connected and get involved in different ways other than emptying their pockets. Giving a reminder of how much someone gave last time is great, then giving the option to pay via check or credit card is also great.
Because of this piece of mail, I not only mailed back a check with a donation, but I increased my donation amount. According to Nonprofits Source, marketing campaigns that used direct mail and 1 or more digital media experienced 118% lift in response rate compared to using direct mail only. This is major! Please only do so if this feels right for your Nonprofit's mission. If you are a Nonprofit who does environmental work, this may not make sense for your organization. We encourage those organizations who it feels right for to visit direct mailing to support your digital marketing efforts. Happy mailing!