Three Ways to Create a Successful Fundraising Campaign for Your School

By Mike Desmarais

As both a parent and a direct marketing professional, I’ve learned a lot about the importance of sustaining our educational communities through fundraising campaigns. I had the opportunity to speak at the Annual Giving Retreat, sponsored by the Association of Delaware Valley Independent School (ADVIS), conference where I shared some of my favorite strategies.

In my experience, I’ve seen three key drivers of successful fundraising campaigns:

Direct Mail is Important

It’s on the rise, too. A recent study from InfoTrends states direct mail has increased by 7.4 percent since 2011. This trend is because direct mail works, and is especially true for nonprofit organizations. In fact, one study cites that direct mail is three times more effective than email at garnering donations for nonprofits (Source: ProfitFusion.com, “Response Rate & Conversion”).

The Convergence of Data and Print

Research suggests consumers enjoy both the physical experience of mail and the technological enhancements digital media can provide. Research also tells us there’s an estimated $6-10 billion in corporate matching gifts that are untapped and unused each year. Tension offers a robust service called Gift Lift™, which helps nonprofits and educational institutions amplify their current matching gift fundraising efforts. By combining technology with creative design on direct mail campaigns, development teams are able to capture some of those untapped matching gifts. Gift Lift™ can also streamline the donation process; Tension can handle the campaign all the way from the list to the direct mail piece design and mailing.

Solid Partnerships Yield Solid Results

Knowing where your donors work can give a substantial boost to your fundraising campaign, especially when those employers offer a matching gift program. Through a partnership with HEPData, we’ve been able to access better, more complete data for our customers. There are tools available to help identify alumni names and titles, find matching gift eligible donors, and discover your overall matching gift potential. With one of our higher education clients, we recently uncovered $1.2 million dollars of matching gift potential. This would not have been possible without the high quality data HEP helped provide. 

Our school communities are filled with dedicated people who help prepare our children for the world, and they truly make a difference every single day. As direct mailers, we can lend them a hand. Together, let’s fully support our schools by working intelligently to raise the funds they need.

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