3 Ways to Raise Donor Stewardship through Direct Mail

By Erin Moloney

As the envelope experts, we are always interested in learning from experts in related fields who can help us help you. A recent presentation in Nonprofit Connect’s 501(c) Success Series gave us the chance to hear from Dr. Amir Pasic, the Eugene R. Tempel Dean and Professor of Philanthropic Studies at the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, the world's first school devoted to the study and teaching of philanthropy. His insights on donor demographics and fundraising trends all point toward the importance of building strong donor relationships – an effort that can be greatly assisted through the strategic use of direct mail.

How can you best work with your donors amidst a complex fundraising environment and enhance stewardship along the way?

Think Audience First

Dr. Pasic says Crowdfunding and Disaster Giving have emerged as two popular areas of fundraising. If you are involved with this kind of fundraising, it’s important to know that research indicates women tend to support Crowdfunding efforts on sites such as GoFundMe, while no distinguishing demographic trends have aligned with Disaster Giving (when hurricanes strike, support comes from a wide variety of donors). Integrated communications based on donor demographics can communicate your desire to be relevant and meaningful. Is your donor base largely female? If so, perhaps a GoFundMe campaign could be a helpful part of your overall strategy, followed by a direct mail piece with similar design and copy elements.

Make Giving Easygive and receive image

In 2015, Donor Advised Funds (DAF) reigned as the largest source of fundraising in the U.S. Why? DAFs, or tax-free investment accounts that allow you to choose the 501(c) benefactor, provide donors with flexibility, convenience, minimal giving barriers and tax benefits. They make giving easy, accessible for the donor. Another way to streamline the donation process? Include generic URLs (GURLS) or personalized URLs (PURL) on your direct mail piece for instant connection, with the option for recurring gifts.

Double Your Money with Data

According to Dr. Pasic, the availability of a matching gift increases the likelihood of someone to give. Unfortunately, people may not know they work for a company that will match gifts. Make life easier for your donors (and double your funds at the same time) - Gift Lift from Tension pinpoints donors who are employed by companies that will match their charitable contribution. And in the spirit of keeping things simple, we can handle every step of the process from the creation of a custom direct mailpiece to a personalized matching gift form.

Be relevant, be accessible and be data-smart about your donor relationships. Contact us to discuss how we can help you achieve those goals.

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