Is your nonprofit missing out on potential donations because you aren’t reaching your donors? Or even worse, is your organization spending money on direct mail packages that never even reach your donors? If the answer to these questions isn’t a confident, “No,” then your nonprofit might be leaving money on the table. Your nonprofit might have the best creative in the world, but it doesn’t matter if your packages aren’t reaching donor inboxes. That’s why the upkeep of your donor database is a critical aspect of your nonprofit’s direct mail program. A healthy donor database provides a detailed view of all your donors and smooths the way for improved analytics. Whether you want to compile a comprehensive view of donor value, create upsell programs or develop complex list models, having clean data will better support these efforts and improve the performance of your marketing ventures. Up-to-date contact information and response data also allows you to improve segmentation of your donors based on their unique interests and partialities. This leads to better market targeting and tailored-made content and offers. This will transition to an overall better donor experience, and subsequently, promote better marketing results for your company. So, now that we know why clean data is so important, the next step is to learn about how to clean up your data! National Change of Address (NCOA) Before mailing your house or prospect appeals, you need to run your list against the NCOA database. This is an important step to ensure you are going to reach the intended donor in a timely manner. The NCOA database contains the “change of address” forms submitted to the U.S. Postal Service (USPS). When people move, they don’t always fill out “address forwarding” forms with USPS. And even if they do, it could take another week before your mail is forwarded to the right address. Plus, the USPS requires NCOA updates within 95 days to qualify for bulk mailing rates. Mailing at bulk rates is essential to almost all marketing campaigns, especially smaller nonprofits that have limited direct mail budgets. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 11.2% Americans moved in 2016. That percentage may seem insignificant, but let’s say you send out a direct mail campaign to 10,000 people and 11.2% have moved. That’s roughly 1,120 donors you missed. If each of those donors were to give an average of $25, you would have lost a total of $28,000. Imagine how those funds, or even a fraction of those funds, could have helped with your cause! With everything people have to deal with when moving, contacting charities to update their personal info is likely not a top concern. This intensifies the importance of having the most up-to-date contact information, not only for your mailings, but stored in your database as well — readily obtainable for future communications. You cannot retain donors if you cannot reach them! Bottom line: Running the NCOA to ensure the hygiene of your database or list rentals is a solid investment and vital to ensuring the blood, sweat and tears put into your nonprofit’s direct mail efforts aren’t in vain. Contact Lawrence Direct Marketing today to start working together on building a better donor database and to start reaching clients with more effective creative to increase your net income.
The Lawrence Direct Marketing, Inc. team will be on location next week, August 3-4, at the 12th Annual Bridge to Integrated Marketing & Fundraising Conference. You can meet the LDMI team at the Solutions Showcase exhibit hall, Booth 124. The exhibit hall is open from 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. on August 3 and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on August 4. The Bridge Conference brings together direct marketing and fundraising experts to discuss the latest strategies, techniques and innovations in direct response marketing and fundraising. The conference is produced by the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Washington, DC Metro Area Chapter (AFP DC) and the Direct Marketing Association of Washington (DMAW). Lawrence Direct Marketing is a member of DMAW. Bridge 2017 will take place at the Gaylord National Hotel and Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland (201 Waterfront Street, National Harbor, MD). More information about the conference is available at www.bridgeconf.org. We hope to see you there!
When it comes to having their direct mail materials printed and shipped, every nonprofit is looking for vendors who can provide the highest quality at the lowest price, and can produce the package on schedule. But finding those vendors can be extremely difficult if you don’t know the ins and outs of direct mail production. Read more...
A client of LDMI once told us that he was looking around the room during a Board meeting and an important realization suddenly struck him: This group of men and women — who have donated and helped raise tens of thousands of dollars for his mission — were all introduced to his nonprofit through direct mail. Major donors are one of the pillars of any nonprofit organization’s financial framework. Very often, major donors become important members of your organizational family, offering advice, hands on support, and a web of important contacts. But one of the most common questions nonprofits struggle with is, “How do we find more major donors?” The answer? Direct mail. The metrics for what constitutes a “major donor” varies across nonprofits, but a good place to start is with donors who have given a single $1,000 or more gift to your cause. Blackbaud’s data and analytics division, Target Analytics, reviewed giving patterns for more than 5 million donors to around 100 different nonprofit organizations to identify the factors influencing their first $1,000 gift to a nonprofit. According to their findings, “[H]ow donors made their first gift and the number of years they had been giving had a significant influence on when they made their first $1,000 donation.” Looking at the origins of the first gifts of these future major donors, almost half, 48%, made their first gift through direct mail. A case study of one nonprofit recently conducted by Analytical Ones found “55% of their $1,000+ donors” were acquired through their direct mail acquisition mailings. Going back a few years, the same group observed in a separate study that one-in-four first-time gifts from $1,000-$2,500 donors were through traditional direct mail acquisition, and one-in-six first-time gifts from $2,500+ donors. Analytic Ones summed up their findings stating: “Think of it another way, take away direct mail acquisition and a significant chunk of your future large donors will also go away.” These numbers shouldn’t be very surprising. Direct mail has been consistent in its ability to convince people to donate large sums of money to nonprofits for decades. As LDMI President Mike Lawrence put it: “One reason for this is that a well-crafted direct mail package is a communication that, in great detail, will give an interested recipient all the information they need about an appeal. It will tell them how the money will be used, it will allay their fears that maybe the money doesn't really go to the intended cause, it will make it easy for them to become a contributor or to repeat as a contributor to this cause. “The fact is, people like to get mail that they're interested in. They like to read about subject matters that they're interested in. An overwhelming number of non-profit contributors are above retirement age. And most retired people who are 65 or older like to get mail. And because they've done a good job of planning for their retirement, they have enough money to be able to send a non-profit $50 or $100.” Or $1,000, $2,500, $5,000 or even more! The above findings are backed up by LDMI’s 30 years of working in nonprofit fundraising. Major donors don’t just fall out of the sky. Most of them are sitting at home reading your direct mail — just waiting to be tapped for a big gift. So if your nonprofit is looking for more major donors, here are a few key steps you can take to get started: Create a robust and dynamic direct mail program. You can learn more about running a direct mail program by clicking here. [not sure what Sean was intending to link to here.] Use direct mail as a prospecting tool. Aside from ensuring your organization’s growth and sustainability, it’s also extremely important in finding major donors. And finally: Analyze your data and target donors for major gifts. The potential major donors in your database may be waiting for a major-giving direct mail solicitation, or even a phone call. For a Complimentary Fundraising Analysis, please click on the icon below:    

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LawDirectMktng RT @voxdotcom: When it comes to disaster relief, donors can’t much affect search-and-rescue. They can affect long-term recovery. https://t.…
LawDirectMktng @JohnWall print this out, put it in your locker and make em pay all season https://t.co/aJdDZaDoBx
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