6 killer mistakes in direct mail fundraising

Does your direct mail fundraising really work?

Here are some common pitfalls from Get Fully Funded at 6 reasons why people won’t give to your fundraising letter and what to do about it:

  1. The letter is too vague. If your donor can’t tell exactly what their donation will do within a few seconds of opening your letter, it’s too vague.
  2. The letter is hard to read. Tiny font. Sans-serif type. Long paragraphs. Difficult reading level. No underlining or emphasis. These things are barriers to reading. And few donors have the energy to climb over your barriers.
  3. The letter is dry and boring. Don’t blither. Don’t share statistics. Don’t make bulleted lists of your accomplishments. Be interesting. Tell a story. Talk to the donor about the donor. Give her something to do, not just think about.
  4. The letter doesn’t actually ask for money. You might be surprised how often fundraising letters dance around the whole point of their existence. Stand with us. Join the campaign. Make a difference — these aren’t asks. Don’t expect donors to read between your lines and figure out what your coded language means.
  5. Letter has typos and grammatical errors. (I don’t quite agree with this one! While nobody like errors, I’ve seen so many instances of grievous errors in fundraising do no harm — or even seemingly improve things. The kind of error that will get you every time: Errors that cause your letter to get lost in the mail!)
  6. The letter makes it difficult for people to give. Include a reply device of some kind (but not a combine reply coupon and envelope!) that makes it easy for the donor to give. Suggest some gift amounts. Include a return envelope. Also give a URL for those who want to give online.

Avoid these mistakes, and you’ll raise more money!


Comments

Leave a Reply

What this blog is about

The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

Blog policies

Subscribe

Get new posts by email:

About the blogger

Jeff BrooksJeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 35 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com. More.


Archives

Blogroll

Categories


Search the blog

The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

Recent Comments

About the blogger

Jeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 30 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com.

Blog Roll

someone’s blog