You are a non-profit organization. You rely on direct mail for fundraising. But you need higher response rates than you’re currently getting. You need a fundraising strategy that really works…
Wordsprint has years of experience in helping non-profit organizations achieve their goals, blending traditional appeal techniques with cutting edge technologies like variable data, personalized websites, text messaging and QR codes.
Questions we ask:
• How do you raise money now? (events, mailings, grants)
• How successful are you? (goals vs reality, budget vs actual)
• What is your overall fundraising strategy?
• If you do appeal mailings, tell us about the list – home grown? purchased? previous donors?
• How often do you mail? Is there an annual pattern or plan?
• Are these hard asks (e.g. appeal letter that asks directly for money, with reply card & reply envelope) or soft asks (e.g. newsletter with remittance envelope enclosed).
• Do you track response rates and donation patterns?
• What software do you use to do this?
• Who writes your letters? (Where does the content come from? How well do you articulate your cause?)
• How long have you been doing appeal mailings?
• Fundraising is like dieting, or exercise. It doesn’t work if you do it just once, or sporadically. It works if you follow a plan, with regular consistency. For example: if you have an auction every year, then have it every year at about the same time, and market it in a consistent manner. If you do appeal mailings, then do them in the same pattern year after year after year.
• Best results come with a series of appeal mailings every year, plus 1-2 key events (e.g. auctions or pig roasts or golf tournaments), plus grant writing.
• Our research shows that it takes about 3 years of consistent appeal mailings before the donors really start giving – it takes that long to build trust.
• For most non-profits, we recommend about four mail touches per year – e.g. two “soft ask” newsletters and two “hard ask” appeal mailings, spaced fairly evenly throughout the year.
• Once or twice a year we recommend an additional “acquisition mailing” (designed to acquire new donors), where you purchase names based on best donor demographic profile, de-dupe vs your current list, and hit these new prospects with an intro appeal letter. If they respond with a gift, move their name to your regular list (so they get on the regular mailing schedule); if they don’t, then >mail to them again with your next acquisition mailing – don’t drop them from the acquisition mailing list until you’ve mailed 4-5 times without a response.
• Strategic planning – we can help craft the entire annual strategy for fundraising
• Graphic design – we’ll ensure you’ve got a look/feel to your newsletters & mailers that is consistent, in keeping with your branding, and supportive of your overall strategy.
• Content development – we can create your message and write your appeal letters from scratch, or edit and update supplied content – and we always proof for grammar, syntax, and consistency.
• Printing – letterhead, envelopes, reply cards, brochures, postcards, whatever pieces are needed
• Database services – includes demographic profiling, list targeting, list purchase, list cleanup, merging & purging, list management, etc.
• Mailing – NCOA (national change of address), CASS and DPV certifications, addressing with barcodes, sorting, traying, delivery to Post Office, e.g. turnkey mail processing
• Website development: Wordsprint partners with website experts to make sure your fundraising approach is integrated with your website, and with your overall branding position.