The not-so-secret source of nearly all high-end donors

Online giving has surged in the last couple of years.

At the same time, the cost of printing and postage has also gone way up.

It’s not surprising that the calls for fundraisers to just abandon direct mail are rising.

Not so fast, check out this post from Analytical Ones: Is Mail Still a Viable Origin for Mid/Major Donors?.

In short: Direct mail acquisition is still a GREAT source for filling your mid/major donor pipeline.

A wide scale analysis of the origins of major donors ($1,000+) found this:

Consistently, about 4% of the DM-acquired donors over the last five years gave more than $1,000 in a year…. [N]ot only do direct mail-acquired donors have the best retention rates of any channel, but our analysis shows that a lot of direct mail donors you acquire today will be filling your major gift officer’s portfolios tomorrow.

Direct mail is getting more difficult and expensive. But walking away from it would be an expensive mistake that will throttle income growth just a few years down the road.

We need to adjust to the new realities that make DM harder. Not walk away.


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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.

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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.


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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.

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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.

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