Stat of the Month: Fundraising
E-mail and social media are now a big part of the direct marketing mix for the fundraising sector, but direct mail remains its primary channel and the methods have not changed very much despite the current economic climate that remains dismal. So while some nonprofits have clearly downsized their packages, they overall are sticking with the kind of direct mail that works in good times and bad.
Looking into the Who's Mailing What! Archive mailstream over the past three years and the first four months of recorded data this year, a few trends are visible. Notably, nonprofits continue to mail at the same rate while other sectors have slowed down, hence their share of the mailstream has gone up considerably. From 2007 to now, that share has jumped 31 percent—going from 12.7 percent all the way to 18.4 percent.
The other major difference is that premium usage continues to rise, as each year from 2006 it's gone up a couple of percentage points. Overall, since 2006, it's gone up 28.5 percent and now appears in 17.2 percent of fundraising mail pieces at present.
More recently, however, there's been a significant drop in repeat mail. In 2008, 42.4 percent of nonprofit mail were controls, but that dropped by six percentage points so far this year—a 13 percent decrease. In other words, more new efforts are understandably being seen from fundraisers actively trying to boost lagging response or raise gift amounts.
Otherwise, use of both the self-mailer format and personalization slipped minimally—less than one percentage point—from 2008, continuing the downward trend from 2007.