Direct mail isn’t a solo act. Multichannel fundraising yields more funds for your charity.

in Integrated Multichannel Fundraising & Marketing

You’ve probably heard quite a bit about integrated marketing and multi-channel marketing [AKA – multichannel fundraising].  Perhaps you’ve held off because it just seems so overwhelming.

Relax.  Even if you keep it as simple as possible you’ll still raise more funds.

First, what do I mean by integration and multichannel?  You send out a direct mail campaign and support it through digital channels.  This includes social media and email.  (Oh, and start thinking about adding mobile to the mix if you haven’t done so already.)

Second, why should you bother with integration?  Because . . .

  • You will raise more funds
  • For many nonprofits, when a donor or member engages through more than one channel (e.g., direct mail and email), their value to the nonprofit increases dramatically.  This is often expressed as the donor life-time value.
  • Multiple channels work “…together to build impressions and produce a higher return than any of the channels working alone could produce,” says Alan Hall, Executive Vice President at Russ Reid. [Source: DMNEWS, March 1, 2010]

What follows is a very simple example (i.e., simple math and one integration tactic) of how your nonprofit can benefit by merely adding one email to supplement a direct mail campaign:

Send a DM fundraising appeal to your house file of 50,000
12% response rate and average gift of $26.82
Gross funds raised about $161,000

You have 10,000 email addresses for your house file
Send a reminder to these donors via email reminding them to give if they haven’t yet donated (ideally only send emails to those who haven’t donated, but we’ll keep it super simple in this example and send it to all email addresses.)
10% response from these 10,000 with average gift of $28.50
Gross funds raised about $28,500

Total gross revenue = $161,000 + $28,500 = $189,500

Which would you rather have: $161K or $189.5K? 

Is 15% more revenue worth going after, especially considering the minimal effort required to send a single email blast?  I’m willing to bet your answer is “YES!”

That additional $28.5K really helps your overall bottom line for this campaign, doesn’t it?  You bet it does.  And you just might eek out even more revenue by integrating with social media.  Try a few tweets on Twitter, an update to Facebook, or if you’re able … also include a short video on your nonprofit YouTube page. 

Bottom Line: It pays to integrate.  Whether it’s direct mail or another marketing channel, solo acts cannot raise as many funds as an integrated campaign.