With a fundraising program as tried and tested as Direct Mail, it is tempting to take a rinse and repeat approach – rolling out the same strategy each year with just a small tweak here and there. But there is nothing eye-catching or inspiring about playing it safe. If you want to grow support for your cause, you need to shake things up, rise above the competition and inspire action from givers, old and new.
Direct mail appeals might be starting to hit mailboxes around the country, but it is not too late to leverage and augment the campaign you have planned. Here are six simple ideas you can try to maximise opportunities for appeal income growth.
Get on the phone
Pick your most valuable donor group (it could be your biggest givers, those who have been giving the longest or most regularly) and find a reason to call them. More important than the subject of your call, is how you use that time to build connection and gather information that will help inform both individual and collective engagement strategies. You may also wish to use the call to influence level of giving and set the scene for a larger-than-normal gift. Not sure where to start? Get in touch with OKP – we can craft tailored scripts to guide you through the process.
Secure a matching gift
Getting a major donor, business or community group to match appeal donations is an excellent way to inspire giving. You could promote the matched gift via social media, email (eDM) or a second wave (booster) letter.
Increasing the visibility of you appeal, both online and off, will increase the frequency of your message and the likelihood of a response. Think creatively with the lifestyles of your target donors to reveal where, when and how you should promote your appeal.
Ask for a second gift
If done strategically, sensitively, and selectively, it is possible to ask for a second gift without getting your donors offside. It is critical that there is a genuinely good reason for the second ask and that it is part-of or following a heart-felt thank-you to the donor’s first gift. Also make sure there is not too much pressure or obligation placed on the donor to give again.
Reciprocity is the idea that people feel compelled to return a positive gesture. In a fundraising context, giving donors an unexpected gift, special advantage, acknowledgement or helpful information is an effective way to motivate people to give. What you offer does not need to be valuable in a monetary sense, it just needs to be valuable to the recipient and help show that you care about them and value their support.
Send a reminder letter after June 30
A surprisingly small percentage of donors are motivated by a tax deduction. Ask you donors and you may find they give in June because that is when they are asked. Sending a reminder letter in late July or August may help your appeal stand out from the crowd and attract support from those who prefer time and space to consider their giving.
Want to get more out of your direct mail appeal? Contact us to discuss our cost-effective solutions to your specific needs.