Fundraising and Direct Mail Tips
Today I'm passing on a slew of nuggets I mined from a conference I recently attended. It was hosted by the Direct Marketing Association, Washington Chapter (DMAW) and it was their 5th Annual Association Day.
Obviously the target audience was associations but hey, they're also nonprofits and I believe everyone can benefit from the information. That's why I'm sharing this medley of tips and ideas from the speakers.
- "Member retention is inversely proportional to the degree you successfully ignore their needs." And I would add that donor response behaves the same way.
- Direct mail (DM) tends to appeal to the older market segment. As of 2006, there were about 89 million people in the U.S. age 50 and over. By 2016 that will increase by 25%.
- The largest growing population segment in the U.S. is people over 85 years of age.
- For the retiring baby boomers, DM is the best method. But don't forget multi-channel marketing! For example, email marketing will grow but not as much as DM - boomers will read print and online.
- Stick to your DM schedule and don't miss dates.
- Know your members and donors. What works great in one organization could easily be a total flop in another. Give them what they want.
- Make it easy for your members and donors. Tell them simply and clearly what you want them to do . . . and you may need to tell them more than once in your communication.
- For associations, know why people join. Typically a small percentage actually uses the benefits. Number 1 reason they join = networking; number 2 reason = keep current with their profession.
- Your website must be clear, easy to use, and member benefits very obvious. For non-association nonprofits I would add that within 10 seconds of logging onto your site, I should know exactly what you do and how I (the donor) can make a difference if I donate. Remember, an OUTSIDER can evaluate all this better than you.
- Have a way to join and/or donate on every web page.
- If you have a blog consider allowing members (donors) to also post to your blog. For associations it's a great way for members to help their own career. This would also be especially good for advocacy type nonprofits.
- Appeal to individuals! This is so critical. Remember your prospect is thinking, "What's in it for me? Why should I join? Why should I donate?"
Needless to say there's more I could share. But it all starts with keeping your prospect, member, or donor in the spotlight. Keep the focus centered on them and NOT you. You'll reap benefits when this crucial concept remains at the heart of all your campaigns and decisions.
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Just for fun - a quote for you
"Always give without remembering and always receive without forgetting." (Brian Tracy - Treasury of Quotes)
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