Starting Over #5: Growing Without Direct Mail

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Breaking Out of the Status Quo Direct mail Donor acquisition Donor retention / loyalty / commitment Integrated fundraising and marketing Nonprofit management Starting Over premiumWhen we first announced the Starting Over series, the very first comment we received came from Sarah Nutbrown who works for a small nonprofit in New Zealand.

Are You Quarantining Your Major Donors?

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That’s what my fundraising buddies told me 47 years ago when I left university major gift fundraising to help launch a new, direct mail-driven nonprofit called Common Cause. It’s as though exposure to direct mail or email will somehow infect their major donors and prospects.

Fundraising Metrics That Matter

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Breaking Out of the Status Quo Direct mail Donor retention / loyalty / commitment DonorTrends / DonorVoice Fundraising analytics / data Nonprofit management premium

Spending On Retention Marketing

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social media and direct mail, as this chart indicates: Direct mail Donor acquisition Donor retention / loyalty / commitment Online fundraising and marketing Telemarketing premium

How Donors Choose Among Nonprofits: The Role of Identity

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Donors’ perceptions of charity competence, notably the efficiency with which they are believed to use their money, often judged on the basis of the quality and quantity of direct mail. They had twice the lifetime value of those without a direct connection to the hospital.

How Will Hurricane Harvey Affect Year-End Giving?

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Communications Direct mail Donor acquisition Donor Centricity Donor retention / loyalty / commitment Integrated fundraising and marketing Major donors Nonprofit management premiumIn 2005 the devastation from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita triggered $6.5

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Is There No End To Stupid?

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More On Millennials: 6 Ways To Entice Them.

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Here’s a follow-up to Tom’s report on the reprieve apparently granted to direct mail by Millennials. The Nonprofit Times in a piece titled 6 Ways to Entice Millennial Donors lists six fundamental steps for attracting Millennial supporters.

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3 Truths And 1 Lie About Online And Offline Donors

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Communications Demographics Direct mail Donor Centricity Donor retention / loyalty / commitment Fundraising analytics / data Integrated fundraising and marketing Mobile marketing and fundraising Online fundraising and marketing Research premium

The Fundraising Ethics Gap

The Agitator

Direct mail Donor retention / loyalty / commitment Fundraising philosophy/profession Research premiumAs a kid I vividly remember Grandma Craver shaking her head, and sometimes her fist, at the radio as it blared forth the ravings of an on-air evangelist whom she particularly despised. She would turn away from the radio and sternly warn me, “Roger, just you remember. Everyone who talks about heaven ain’t going there.”

Fundraising Myths And Dark Legends

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Copywriting / creative Direct mail Donor acquisition Donor retention / loyalty / commitment premium One of my all-time favorite fundraising copywriters is Tom Gaffny.

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The Most Sinister Word in Fundraising

The Agitator

Communications Copywriting / creative Direct mail Donor retention / loyalty / commitment premiumIt’s difficult to realistically imagine many copywriters — or fundraisers who have to double as copywriters — escaping the scourge of the year-end copy review.

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Cable News Fundraisers

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I noted that “despite the stupidity and horror we’re exposed to daily I’ve come to the conclusion that humanity is actually headed in the right direction.” Communications Direct mail Donor retention / loyalty / commitment Fundraising philosophy/profession premiumIs there a similarity between cable news and the way some nonprofits operate? Tom’s Does Your Fundraising Depend on Urgency posted last week would suggest so.

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When Women Win

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Monthly Giving Part 2- Setting Goals and Getting Started

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The Tragedy of the Donor Commons

The Agitator

And, not surprisingly, the more mail they get, the more they agree with the statement “I feel I must protect myself from the mail I get from charities.” Thus, only 37% of a new mail piece’s revenues are new to the organization. “Picture a pasture open to all.

Donors Are Ticked Off by Excess, Unrequested Solicitation – Who Knew?

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Looking at one study here , researchers found that each additional mailing generated 1.81 Euros of that was cannibalized from future mailings. Thus, only 37% of the revenues that are “new” when you add a mail piece are from that mail piece. Please stop sending me mail!

No One Wants More Email

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If I’m Dead Why Are You Writing To Me?

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When was the last time you cleaned your mailing list? Direct mail Donor retention / loyalty / commitment Fundraising analytics / data Nonprofit management premiumMaybe now — during the end of summer lull — is a good time. Once September arrives, we all know what the fundraising tsunami rushing toward year-end will be like. Too late to fix things then.

Dangerous Myth #1: Too Much Solicitation Causes Poor Retention

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Winter 101

Your Donor Went Missing!

The Agitator

Then finally someone does the calculation and discovers, Direct mail Donor retention / loyalty / commitment DonorTrends / DonorVoice Fundraising analytics / data premiumYou lost a donor today. In a large nonprofit, say 100,000 donors, you actually lost something like 123 donors today. In a really big organization, say 500,000 donors, you lost 615 donors … TODAY! Did you even notice? Did you see them go? Did you wave good-bye. Do you know why they left?

Ordinary Fundraising Done Extraordinarily Well

The Agitator

Of special note, from our parochial point of view, Communications Copywriting / creative Direct mail Donor retention / loyalty / commitment premiumIn the New York Times Special Section on Giving — covering a wide range of topics from foundation trends, to teaching kids to give, and the ins and outs of automobile donations — there’s a piece that will be of special interest to Agitator readers. Asking for Money?

Raise More, Ask Less — Part 3

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Communications Direct mail Donor retention / loyalty / commitment premium

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Yawning All The Way To The Bank

The Agitator

In his post Why Boring Fundraising Is So Exciting , our pal Jeff Brooks riffs off a Nick Ellinger piece in NonProfitPRO warning that although donors’ use of media is changing, this trend DOES NOT signal that direct mail is dead.

Starting Over #10: Understand Money

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The Dangerous Dictum Of “Mail More, Make More”

The Agitator

Perhaps no myth is potentially more dangerous for the long-term health of an organization than the clichéd dictum: “Mail more, raise more.” The Agitator opened discussion on this topic two years ago in our series Raise More, Ask Less appearing in four parts: here , here , Breaking Out of the Status Quo Communications Direct mail Donor retention / loyalty / commitment Fundraising analytics / data Research premiumI love home remedies and old folk tales.

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You Choose

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Direct mail Donor retention / loyalty / commitment Online fundraising and marketing premiumTwo emails arrived today in my in-box, competing for attention. The first was the first exhortation I’ve received so far to get ready to participate in this year’s Giving Tuesday.

Monthly Giving Part 3- The Great Recordkeeping and Payment Processing Barrier

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Communications Direct mail Donor acquisition Donor retention / loyalty / commitment Innovation Integrated fundraising and marketing Nonprofit management Online fundraising and marketing Uncategorized premium

Goldilocks Fundraising

The Agitator

Breaking Out of the Status Quo Communications Direct mail Donor retention / loyalty / commitment DonorTrends / DonorVoice Innovation Research premiumYou may think you don’t have an over-solicitation problem, but your donors think otherwise. That’s the premise The Agitator and DonorVoice will explore at Noon EST today in the 2nd of our behavioral science webinars titled, Capitalizing on Donor Intent: Increasiing the Number of Donor Gifts Per Year.

Punishing Good Deeds

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Raise More, Ask Less — Part 4

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Communications Direct mail Donor retention / loyalty / commitment Fundraising analytics / data premium If you aren’t going to lose your job or your sleep over flat performance or no growth, then you should simply continue with the simple and convenient status quo.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

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The Same Old Santa

The Agitator

The appeal is the masterstroke of my pal and colleague Jerry Huntsinger, the dean of direct response fundraising copy. Obviously, for online purposes — the addition of donate links and options to give by postal mail– some additions have been made.

Which Fundraising Stat Impresses You Most?

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On the other hand, in an article titled The Big Problem in Charity That Giving Tuesday Can’t Fix , Slate cites figures from Target Analytics that the number of people giving money in response to direct mail appeals fell by 25% between 2005 and 2015. Direct mail Donor acquisition Donor retention / loyalty / commitment Fundraising philosophy/profession premiumIn his Friday post , Roger asked: How many donors must we lose before we learn?

TESTING: When A/B Tests Attack (your results)

The Agitator

An example of this is a great study by Karlan and Wood looking at whether emotion or education was a more potent factor in mail appeals. Let’s say you made a choice to test an all-dog-all-the-time mail piece to a full donor file of half cat people and half dog people.

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Avoid the Cringe-Inducing Moment of Calling a Deceased Donor

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Not only could we send a sympathy note/card to spouses/ family of deceased donors, but we’d be able to avoid mailing to John and Jane Doe if one or both of them died.”. “In At four mailings per year, with a cost of $0.49 Today we’re adding TrueDeceased to The Agitator Toolbox.

Cost 60

More On Personal Touch

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Here’s a paean to handwriting by copywriter Karen Zapp: Why Direct Mail — the more personal the better — Will Not Die. communications copywriting direct mail Don''t Miss these Posts fundraising loyalty

Please Annoy The Pig

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Why oh why”, Direct mail Donor retention / loyalty / commitment Fundraising philosophy/profession Nonprofit management premiumAs a little boy I grew impatient when others –especially grown-ups —didn’t seem to understand the wisdom of my advice, let alone act on it.

Making The Most Of Your Agitator Subscription

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Many Agitator have been with us for our entire 10 year history. Many others are recent subscribers, and there are lots of folks in between. AND … some readers haven’t yet subscribed. You can remedy that egregious oversight right here.

Who’s A Poor Fundraiser To Believe?

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Communications Direct mail Donor retention / loyalty / commitment Fundraising analytics / data premiumWho could resist reading a blog post with this title — The most deadly error in fundraising — from esteemed fundraising creative Jeff Brooks?! I jumped right on it.

Erode Your Way to Better Year-End Giving

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Communications Copywriting / creative Direct mail Donor acquisition Donor retention / loyalty / commitment DonorTrends / DonorVoice Fundraising analytics / data Innovation Research premium

Can You ‘Hatch’ A Multi-Channel Donor?

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Communications Direct mail Donor retention / loyalty / commitment Integrated fundraising and marketing Online fundraising and marketing premiumI hope you read Roger’s post Monday — 3 Truths And 1 Lie — comparing online and offline donors, and discussing some of the myths involved. And further, I hope you read the analysis by Steve MacLaughlin on which Roger relied.

Monthly Giving Part 1–Why Bother?

The Agitator

Breaking Out of the Status Quo Communications Direct mail Donor retention / loyalty / commitment Nonprofit management Telemarketing Uncategorized premiumEditors’ Note : This is the first in a three-part — and hopefully practical — series aimed at encouraging small, large and mid-size organizations to pay serious attention to the benefits of building a monthly giving or sustainer program. We’ll deal with the question of ‘why’ monthly giving?