Nonprofits Hold Steady
Lately, nonprofit efforts have grown to a larger percentage of the overall mailstream as captured through November, by the Who's Mailing What! Archive. The amount of nonprofit mail increased from 18.2 percent of all mail last year to 21.7 percent this year. Yet, the increase in nonprofit mail is offset by a decrease of 6.4 percent in all mail sent in other sectors, so the larger proportion of nonprofit sectors may not mean growth, but that other sectors are hurting from the economy and thus mailing less.
For now, it looks like nonprofits' marketing budgets remain healthy. Personalization, an indicator of marketing spend, remains steady at about 50 percent of efforts. Premiums, which in recent years have appeared in only about 12.5 percent of nonprofit offers, have risen this year to 16.5 percent of all nonprofit offers-which suggests nonprofits might even be spending at a higher rate than before.
One thing that several copywriters and marketers have repeated over the past few months is the mailer's need to address the prospect frankly, especially with regard to the current financial climate. In the nonprofit sector, a new effort from The Smile Train does just that. Arriving in a #10 outer envelope showing a photograph of a child afflicted with a cleft lip, the copy reads, "Make one gift now and we'll never ask for another donation again," (Archive code# 613-691430-0812).
Inside is a double-sided letter that explains to donors that they can determine their future communication preferences with The Smile Train. One of three check boxes on the reply form indicates, "Please do not ask me for another donation." The two other options are to receive limited communications or to receive regular communications.
This tactic most likely resonates with donors who may be bombarded daily with fundraising asks. It also indirectly addresses the current economic downturn, which may limit some donors to one gift per year, if anything. Finally, the offer to tailor future communications to meet donor's preferences is smart because it saves The Smile Train the production and postage costs for unnecessary mailings.