CEO Insights: Nonprofits Doing Direct Mail Wrong

March 9, 2020
2 min
A grid of shapes, a portrait photo of Justin Wheeler, and the words "CEO Chat".
Justin is Funraise's CEO, a co-founder, and a bad-ass, experienced nonprofit fundraiser. Like a true fundraiser-turned-founder, he breaks down the concepts behind Funraise's mission everywhere he can make nonprofits' voices heard.

Stop acquiring low-quality revenue that is destined to churn.

I know this will be another unpopular view, but the way nonprofits run their direct mail campaigns is dead wrong.

Think about it from a donor perspective...

  1. They receive a piece of mail that was designed to get them to open it.
  2. Once opened they scratch their head and wonder who this nonprofit is and how they got their home address?
  3. Then over 90% of them throw it in the trash.

This is not a good way to introduce your nonprofit to a prospect.

When is the last time you bought a product that was marketed to you in the mail without any former engagement with the company? The reason nonprofits have such a high churn rate is that they acquire low-quality revenue.

Start using direct mail for meaningful touch-points with existing donors instead of using it to acquire new ones.

Can't listen to the video? Scroll down to read the transcript.

Video Transcript

I think that a lot of nonprofits, the companies that I have with them is helping understand that it's not that we're trying to say, hey, direct mail is bad. Because there's plenty of use cases for it. I actually think direct mail, the best use case of direct mail to drive people online and to give them that experience through a piece that's more meaningful. Direct mail works best when maybe I donate $100 and I'm sent something two days later as like a reminder of that gift.
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