Proven Strategies to Increase Direct Mail Fundraising

August 17th, 2011 by

The way to increase direct mail fundraising is to review the best practices that have been proven to raise funds. At the sixth annual Bridge to Integrated Marketing and Fundraising Conference held in National Harbor, Md., two fundraising professionals shared 11 best practices and discussed how implementing them helped the Coast Guard Foundation (CGF) and Lighthouse International achieve tremendous results.

Here are those 11 tactics that Bradley Sisley, chief operating officer at the Coast Guard Foundation, and Andrew Laudano, account director at LW Robbins, provided in their session, “7 Proven Strategies for Jump-Starting a Small Fundraising Program,” — plus four bonus tips — and what they helped CGF and Lighthouse International accomplish.

Increase Direct Mail Fundraising with these best practices:

1.Mail enough names to acquire a meaningful number of new supporters.
2.Test new mailing list audiences in acquisition with new messages and offers.
3.Test your acquisition gift ask strategy. Lower entry points may increase participation.
4.Mail at least six to eight times per year in renewal. If you want to increase direct mail fundraising, you need to be there when your donors are ready to respond — because your competitors will be.
5.Use your strongest campaign themes (pillar campaigns) each year in renewal.
6.Test strong acquisition campaigns in renewal and vice versa.
7.Use personal stories to create an emotional connection with donors. Testimonials and photos bring stories to life.
8.Use long-term value analysis to identify the best acquisition lists.
9.Develop a midlevel strategy to strengthen donor loyalty and upgrading.
10.Create a new donor-welcome touchpoint to increase new donor retention.
11.Offer donors a premium appeal in the renewal program if you acquired them with premiums

Next week’s blog about direct mail fundraising will include actual results from the Coast Guard Foundation and Lighthouse International.

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