Direct mail fundraising is going into decline, or is it?

At AGENCY59 RESPONSE we are often asked if, or we are sometimes informed that, direct mail fundraising is going into decline. The following two articles explain why direct mail is NOT currently in decline and should still be a part of an integrated program. The imperative word here is “integrated”.

Remember that people tend to give to requests that reflect the original method of solicitation. So, if I am asked by phone, I tend to stay with phone requests; if I give through the mail, I tend to continue to give through this method.

Very few online donors also give to traditional direct mail, but that does not mean you cannot approach them through direct mail or vice versa.

For example, if you have a special mailing at the beginning f the year where you include a Supporter Card – make sure people who only give to you through online methods are also included in this appeal as they will appreciate the gesture and it all helps to build the relationship. This may just be the time when they will decide to give a donation through the mail or give another online gift.

Keep your donors in mind, and rather than looking for fundraising methods that you can eliminate, the important fact is that you need to offer all your donors numerous ways to give you their hard-earned dollar.


Penelope Burk Versus Donor Behaviour: Direct Mail Fundraising is Not in Decline –  By Alan Sharpe

“Fundraising consultant and researcher Penelope Burk of Cygnus Applied Research says direct mail is declining in popularity. She is wrong.”

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 Is direct mail fundraising really headed for the exit? – By Chuck Pruitt

“What has always mystified me about some (but far from all) of the online marketing community is their insistence that for online fundraising to rise, direct mail fundraising must fall.”

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Direct mail fundraising is going into decline, or is it?