Recent Study Confirms Direct Mail a Driver of Online Giving

The need to continually drive and promote charitable donations is a constant effort for most non-profits.  Even if you don’t work for a non-profit, you probably know someone that does or you may want to help advance a group or cause.

When considering the best way to communicate with the donor audience, don’t overlook the role direct mail can play in the process.  According to a national Dunham+Company study recently conducted by research firm Campbell Rinker, direct mail is a more important driver to online giving than online communications.  The primary purpose of the study was to try and understand what drives online giving and how important offline communication is in the process.  A few interesting points from the study:

1) 14% of respondents in the study said that a direct mail letter prompted them to give online versus 6% who said an email prompted them to give online.

2) Also, 1 in 3 donors who utilize the charity’s website to give online say that when they receive a direct mail piece from the charity to give, they will go to the charity website to give the donation.

3) The higher the household income, the more likely the recipient was to respond and donate to the charity’s website online.  Nearly half of the households responded that they would give online when prompted by a direct mail piece to do so.

4) The ability to share giving activity socially is also important in prompting friends to give.  Almost 1 in 4 respondents under 40 said they were inspired to give after being asked to give by someone on social media.

As we have mentioned in a few previous blog posts, today’s communication landscape is very cluttered.  With all the different mediums that are available for entities to communicate with their audience, no one communication channel will hit all segments of the audience.  Cross media campaigns that utilize the web, email, social and direct mail as individual components of an overall messaging strategy can be very effective in reaching the targeted donor audience.  The key is finding the right mix and frequency of the messaging to maximize the level of the contributions.

There is no magic formula for successfully engaging your donor community and raising funds.  Every organization is different.  The key is to try several different approaches to see what works best for your organization or charity.

What are some activities that have worked to inspire you to donate?

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