In today’s challenging economy, many people are strapped for cash. The tight purses don’t just apply to individuals, though. Many non-profits are strapped financially, especially when they first start up. As The Atlantic said recently “There’s no doubt that non-profits today face serious financial difficulties and constraints...” There's usually a very small group of people - three or four - who do everything that the organization needs to do. They all work 15 hours a day and they're exhausted after their first year on the job.
When newer non-profits finally get to the point where their organization can effectively be championed and supported through direct mail, many people must decide whether it is better to handle the direct mail in house or hire someone to manage their direct mail program. Chances are they are going to be better off finding a direct response company to create and/or stabilize their fundraising efforts.
The Classic Decision every 501 c3 Non-Profit Makes
The number one question that 501 c3 non-profits have to ask is, should we make it or should we buy it?
When it comes to creating and implementing a successful direct mail campaign, the right answer for most non-profits is, “buy it”. Buy direct mail service from a fundraising company that is already in the business and familiar with the mountain of detail that is involved in managing, supervising and constantly improving a 501 c3 non-profit direct mail program. The many complex facets of an effective direct mail campaign include regular prospect mailing, frequent house mailings, monthly giving appeals, thank you letters, reactivation appeals, etc....
As a non-profit, you are not in the business of doing all that. You're in the business of advancing your cause. The right Direct Response Fundraising Company is in the business of doing all that on your behalf and for your benefit.
How to Choose the Right Fundraising Company
The next aspect of Direct Mail fundraising for 501 c3 non-profits is: how do they choose one organization from the hundreds of highly effective, professional fundraising companies? In some form, the answer should be that you, as a non-profit organization, and they, your fundraising company, are on the same page when it comes to the cause you are advancing. Obviously, your cause is important to you, but is it important to them? Do they want to see that cause succeed as much as you do?
At LDMI, our clientele consists mostly of non-profits, 501c-3 and c-4 organizations. We work for these non-profits not simply because this is how we earn our living but because we have chosen these non-profits as ones we want to help prosper.
While we do not make the ultimate decision for an organization to become our client, we want to meet with them, talk about their cause, and see if the cause is one we believe in strongly and can do our very best to advance. If you’re interested in having that conversation, we're interested too.
The Foundation for Success is Already Set
If that foundational relationship is already in agreement, and if that commitment is there from both parties, you will see results fairly quickly. Chances are if a fundraising company has the philosophy described above, and they are established, they will already have a good idea of who can develop the right creatives for you, of what the right lists are, who will respond to which creative, and where to start your Direct Mail campaign.
In other words, they won't be starting from scratch. They will already have some idea of where begin to help your 501 c3 non-profit. And they will work even harder because they will be fully invested in your success. (Here are some more tips on chosing the right company)
Interested in Starting a Direct Mail Program: Click here for our free e-book: Keys to a Successful Direct Mail Program: