We have talked about it in many of our blogs: how the internet has become a useful addition to (not a replacement for) direct mail. With the digital hype, many nonprofits have opted to move their programs 100% online, but I am here to say “don’t do it!” According to an article published on the Direct Marketing News website titled Direct mail continues to deliver top rewards in nonprofit industry, explains that “91% of nonprofits use direct mail.” Here are some reasons why direct mail is a great addition to your nonprofit.
Public Awareness & Visibility: It’s true (as we’ll talk more about in Part II) that catalogs are more than simple tools for fundraising. Of course fundraising is an important goal for your nonprofit, but perhaps even more significant is public awareness of your cause. In fact, awareness is the first step towards donation.
Get your organization’s mission out to the public: What is the difference between your organization and others who are fighting for the same or similar causes? Catalogs and other direct mailers can be an opportunity to showcase your organization and what sets you a part. If a prospect doesn’t donate this time, but you have left an impression and they become engaged by your mission, they will be far more likely to donate the next time.
More Meaningful: Most nonprofits will be looking for an emotional response from their potential donors. Studies in neuroscience have revealed to us that print provokes a greater emotional response in the brains of the viewer than digital (check out the article Print vs. Digital: Another Emotional Win for Paper). Catalogs and direct mail is a great way to create an emotional connection with your audience.
More Personal: Think about it this way, many politicians still travel door to door to interact with their potential candidates. They don’t e-mail, they don’t send friend requests on Facebook. They go door to door. Why? Because it’s more personal and personalization is far more effective. What’s second best to showing up on someone’s doorstep? Direct mail. It’s a way to put your cause in front of them without the face to face.
These are just four of the many reasons why direct mail is a great apparatus for the nonprofit organization to reach their donors. Stay tuned for our next post: Direct Mail for Nonprofits, Part II, 4 Ideas How to Do It