In every business sector, the more integrated today's direct marketing efforts, the better. And increasingly, that integration must involve a Web site that supports both the direct mail and e-mail campaigns. In fundraising, that holds true, for prospective donors don't waste much time before heading to a fundraiser's Web site to conduct a little research.
In today's economic climate, when a constituent must tighten her belt, it may be hard for her to conceive that a reduced or small donation will even make an impact. While many fundraising direct mail packages include copy to combat this worry, saying, "Every dollar counts," or show charts indicating what each dollar amount equates to in relief, a recent mailing from the Council of Indian Nations (CIN) takes this approach one step further.
Two years since catalog marketers were hammered with a 20 percent-plus postage increase, many continue to reel and retreat. Traditional bulk catalog mailings are becoming unaffordable for many. So, facing up to the economic reality of soaring catalog production and mailing costs, party supplies, toys and novelties cataloger Oriental Trading Co. since last fall has implemented a wide-spreading postcard mailing program targeting primarily its proven customers.
Sometimes a mailing comes together organically, with an inspirational story that connects with inspiring artwork and a powerful call to action. Such is the case with this mailing from the National Parkinson Foundation.
Much like comedians tend to find the humorous side to any situation, creatives look for inspiration at every turn. Take, for instance, Carolyn Goodman, managing partner for San Rafael, Calif.-based direct marketing company Goodman Marketing Partners, who came up with an idea for a personalized T-shirt premium for her client, greater San Francisco/Bay area jazz radio station KCSM-FM, at her children's swim meet.
About a year and a half ago, CureSearch, a Bethesda, Md.-based childhood cancer research organization, realized it lacked the top-notch direct marketing program it needed to best serve its mission. Aside from seeking to build a well-planned program with a strategic mail schedule, the organization recognized the need for a well-defined, tried-and-tested list of direct mail supporters.
Fundraising campaigns marking the lives of two great Americans, both Civil Rights giants, reached the Archive in February. The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation mailed a membership offer in honor of the 200th anniversary of the 16th President's birthday. The teaser on the #10 OSE makes a connection to the present: "History is our story." The letter briefly mentions the Great Emancipator's relevance to today's "challenging moment," but mostly highlights the museum's activities, all geared toward communicating to the world his history and accomplishments. The brochure, order form and letter clearly detail the benefits for each membership level, as well as promote premiums, such as a leadership book and a subscription to American Heritage magazine (Archive code #576-717571-0902).
For 20 years, Harvesters - The Community Food Network has been fighting hunger in the Kansas City, Mo., area. And for the past year or two, it's been facing the challenge that nags at all nonprofits: how to maximize donor relationships for better performance. The food bank's database of 40,000 individual donors and 8,000 corporate donors has been built mainly through direct mail efforts but also represents a chunk of the organization's many volunteers and event participants. Just how deep that connection ran was something Harvesters needed to find out to better structure its donor relationship program.
For nearly a decade, Freedom from Hunger's acquisitions control has been the steadfast "Loan Approved" package. The modest #10 mailing communicates the organization's focus on providing small loans to help women establish businesses to feed their families and change their lives. And for years, the organization has been frequently testing against this package with little success.