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.

In the current climate of shrunken personal savings and swelling unemployment percentages, many folks are feeling less fortunate, literally. Of course, many of these direct mail prospects know that others out there, at home and certainly in Third World countries, have it worse, but the self-preservation instinct is kicking in more than usual, with 2008 ranking as one of the worst years the fundraising sector has seen. At its 46th International Conference on Fundraising in New Orleans, La., held earlier this week, the Association of Fundraising Professionals reported that less than half of charities raised more money in 2008 than in 2007 and, more importantly (or frighteningly), fundraising gains dropped significantly across the board.

Mention anything related to money on your carrier envelope and you're sure to capture the attention of more than a few prospects. No doubt, "free" money is invaluable both in your bank account and as a way of generating attention and response from prospects.

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