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What's Trending With Nonprofit Direct Mail?

Streamowrks Blog

What's Trending With Nonprofit Direct Mail?

SW_Whats Trending In Nonprofit Direct Mail


With so many direct mail fundraising trends, we thought hearing directly from non profit organizations, religious organizations, and private foundations would be beneficial to learn more about their fundraising efforts, how they raise money, and show gratitude to their donors. 


That's why we polled AFP ICON 2023 attendees to get a pulse on how their organizations approach various areas surrounding fundraising. This was conducted during the trade show and conference in New Orleans, with the control group consisting of nonprofits and their employees who visited our booth to take part in our interactive survey.

A big thank you to the fundraising professionals who participated in our direct mail fundraising poll. Your participation provided valuable insights and trends on:


• Welcoming New Donors

• Showing Gratitude via Donor Engagement

• Creating Appeal Campaign Strategies for Active, Lapsed, and Acquisition segments


Interestingly, 56% of the fundraising experts who participated in our survey currently include an ask in their welcome package for their individual donors, while 44% do not.

We observed a recurring pattern in which smaller organizations (usually those with less than 20,000 active contributors), for example, appear more reluctant to make a follow-up ask than their larger peers. This could be due to a number of factors, such as the size of the gift, the importance of the donor, and other considerations.


How Are We Welcoming New Donors

When deciding whether to include an ask, a soft ask, or no ask in your welcome package, there are several factors to consider. Finding the ideal long-term plan for fostering that new relationship can be done with the help of testing.


Many non profit organizations noted that they would include a gift for their donors in their welcome package to show their appreciation. Gifts are a great way to show your donor how much their donations are appreciated.

It was reassuring to discover that 89% of the fundraising experts who participated in our poll send a gratitude letter or thank you card after receiving donations.


56% of the nonprofit organizations that responded have 5+ donor touches yearly outside of appeal campaigns! This is great news for organizations looking to reach potential donors, raise funds, encourage gifts, secure grants, and inspire other fundraising activities.


How Are We Showing Gratitude To Donors

A few data items stood out to us even though the frequency of mailings by donor segment varied widely across all channels:


• The vast majority are mailing Active Donors multiple times per year vs Potential Donors

• Almost two-thirds (63%) vary their Ask Ladder based on the last gift

• Just under a quarter (24% and 20%) are not mailing Lapsed and/or Acquisition segments at all

• For the organizations that are mailing Lapsed Donors, most (60%) are sending them 2-3 times per year


What is your strategy for Appeal Campaigns


Once more, a big thank you to the fundraising experts and non profit organizations who participated in our direct mail fundraising survey.


To stay up-to-date on digital marketing tactics for your organization, we encourage you to follow The Buzz: a LinkedIn page that focuses exclusively on nonprofit education, best practices, and tips.

The Buzz - Nonprofit LinkedIn Showcase Page