Direct Mail for Nonprofits

Tax Professionals' Resource
August 19, 2013 — 1,480 views  
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Nonprofit organizations, as evident from their name, play a critical role in society. They do not work for profit like other companies but focus on philanthropic and humanitarian goals. However, these organizations need funds and tax exemptions to run successfully and continue doing the good job within the sector they operate in. 

Donations for Nonprofits

Nonprofits usually depend on donations to continue the work they are doing. While donations form a key source of their revenue, it is not their only source. They may raise funds through events, or small scale businesses that fit into their profile, including sale of goods and services produced by volunteers or the members of the organization. Yet, they primarily depend on donations to function properly. Although there are donor organizations and funding agencies like the Ford Foundation and Bill and Melinda Gates foundations exclusively dedicated to funding charities, it is not always easy for every nonprofit agency to access donation from bigger funding agencies. So, these organizations have to look for direct donation from citizens and people.

Seeking donation means that the voluntary organizations have to market themselves so that others come to know about them and make donations, if they can empathize with their work. The marketing efforts of these organizations include diverse strategies including direct mail, email, website, traditional campaigns, and advertisements among several more. When organizations function successfully for years and establish their name in their sphere, donations including institutional donations are easily attracted. However, it takes time and effort for them to sustain.    

Direct Mail for Increasing Donor Base

Direct mail can prove to be a wonderful resource for organizations seeking to enhance their donor base. However, the response rate through this strategy may be high or low depending on how strategically you have applied this method in your favor. The list is the key to success here. So, it is important to make the list carefully and continue to update them with time. A quarter of your list will get outdated in about a year. Therefore, more than the design of the mail, it is list that should be focused on. It is important to make your mail unambiguous with a clear call to action. Unless you let people know what you want them to do, they are going to do nothing.

People are likely to respond if you make it easy for them by including a number of options like email, phone, fax, website or even the return mail. There is no single success formula. So, you will need to tweak and continue testing with content, options, color, and design. You can say the same thing in different ways with each mailing list. Your response rate is likely to go up if you personalize your mails by addressing the recipient directly with their first name. 

Organizations that work in the larger interest of society without any emphasis on profit motive survive on donation. However, they may not find donations coming easily to them. So, these organizations may have to run campaigns or market themselves in different ways, one among which is direct mail.  

Tax Professionals' Resource