Pop Art Woman Announcement Megaphone

VIDEO: 6 Big Tips for Big Campaigns

Want to make an important direct mail campaign stronger?

Sean and I have six big tips that can really super-charge response:

  1. Mail in a stand-out envelope — bigger, more colourful, not the usual!
  2. Use a matching gift offer.
  3. Enhance the pack in as many ways as possible: Longer letter, bigger reply device, as many lift pieces as you can think of!
  4. Call your donors before they get the mail — or after.
  5. Use email and mail together, make it into an “event.”
  6. Repetition! Send several emails. Send a follow-up direct mail. Maybe even send the original pack again!

Want to learn more about what really works in direct mail? Uncover all of the amazing best practices of direct mail fundraising in our course 7 Steps To Creating Record-Smashing Direct Mail. It’s available for all members of The Fundraisingology Lab.

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Direct Mail

VIDEO: How To Boost Your Direct Mail Campaign After It Has Gone Out

In this short video I’m going to show you something amazing:  A way to dramatically improve the performance of a direct mail appeal — after you’ve mailed it. When it’s too late to change it!

And it doesn’t involve inventing a time machine.

This really works. I’ve seen organisations do this again and again:

  • It boosts revenue (often by a lot!)
  • It improves your relationships with some of your best donors.
  • It’s surprisingly fun!
  • And it’s very, very easy to do. (The fact that I can explain it in less than seven minutes tells you that.)

Really, I’m not going to show you how to cast a magic spell. But it will seem like that!

Good luck!

Want to know more about how you can dramatically increase revenue and transform relationships with your mid and major donors? I cover this important topic in my Mid-Value Donor Super Course. You can find out more when you join The Fundraisingology Lab

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Major and Mid Value DonorsMaths of FundraisingMonthly Giving

The Challenge with the Phone and Fundraising

The telephone is one of the most important tools fundraisers have. It truly is a wonderful machine, because it allows us to speak with our lovely donors for little cost.

But there’s a problem.

Quite often we simply can’t get through to the donor we want to.

What can we do about this?

One solution is to use a professional telephoning agency. It is well known that these agencies are used widely for lower value donors (especially for monthly giving calls). But these companies can also help build relationships with mid to high-value donors, and with legacy prospects.

Using these agencies is usually cheaper than making the calls yourself when you factor in the costs of your time preparing, failing to get through, having the conversation and typing up the notes in the database.

One of the secrets of success for phone agencies is ‘penetration’. They have systems and processes to make sure that they can get through to as many people as possible.  Even with all that though, penetration can vary from 40% to 65%:

Unfortunately, no technology exists to allow you to get through to everyone.

However, not all charities can use these agencies.  Perhaps your volume is not high enough to prove good value for you, or no appropriate agency has the capacity to take you on when you need them. So what then?

The key is to take a leaf out of the agencies’ (phone) book.  They understand that it is about numbers, so that’s where you should start.

Let’s say you want to get through to 50 donors to invite to an event.

Firstly, you are probably going to have to attempt to call them an average of five times.  And even then you may only get through to about one in three.

So to get your 50 invites, you’d need to try to call 150 people on average five times each.  That is dialling 750 times!  Sorry, this is just reality!

Calling donors is a good and wonderful thing to do.  Just make sure you have the resources (people and budget) and patience.

The phone is an important part of a powerful mid-value donor program. Want to learn more about how to use it? Take the Moceanic Mid-Value Donor Super Course which includes one full module about Top Tips for the Conversation that Gets the BIG Gift from the Mid-Value Donor. You can get access to that and more when you join The Fundraisingology Lab.

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Really Integrating Direct Mail with Major Donors and Bequests
BenchmarkingBequests and LegaciesDirect MailMajor and Mid Value DonorsMaths of Fundraising

Really Integrating Direct Mail with Major Donors and Bequests

I believe the new big thing for charities (and something Roger Craver of The Agitator has pointed out) is something really old-fashioned: talking to your donors face to face. Especially mid-value donors and those considering making bequests.

The charities that grow and raise more money for their beneficiaries are those with a long-term view. They have a cohesive, coordinated and focused strategy.

With only 301 charities (1%) accounting for half of total revenue in Australia, it is relatively easy to get hold of some really fascinating data. Especially when many of the larger charities collaborate in Pareto’s annual benchmarking exercise.

Let’s take direct mail.  If you haven’t already got a large database of donors through direct mail, the costs of donor acquisition, setting up a team and database, bringing in the right skills and more can mean it will take years to break even, much less generate funds for the cause.

Despite that, approached holistically, the bottom line is that direct mail, in most countries, still produces one of the very best medium and long term returns of any acquisition.

Related blog: Do I Still Love Premiums!?

You are probably asking… what is this ‘holistically’ caveat? Well, a few things actually.  Direct mail-acquired donors produce the best results when:

Preferably more than 50% but at least 35% of acquisition costs are recovered by donations to the acquisition mailing.


Your team works together.  Direct mail, bequests, mid value, digital and major donors.


You are focused on maximizing net income in the long term, not on short-term Return on Investment.


There are people prepared to, and trained to, approach and ask donors and bequests for additional funds on a personal basis.

Take this example, based on real data and modelled for a new entrant to direct mail in Australia.

The charity invests $1 million per year, for five years, on direct mail acquisition.  Other costs such as ongoing house mailings, calling donors for regular (monthly) gifts, thanking, processing and developing packs are additional to that million but included in the model.

After ten years the charity would have raised over $7 million net.  A lot of effort and risk for what is an OK return.

However, what if the charity ‘lifted’ the values of some of these donors through major donor activities? Applying the growth that we have seen the best charities get through their major donor programs, and including some costs for staff and materials, we end up with $13.6 million.  Now we are talking growth!

Related blog: The Missing Millions in YOUR Charity’s Database

And what if they were great at legacy fundraising too? Well, they’d be up at $21.3m net, with an annual net income looking forward in excess of $3m which is pretty much in the bag.  A superb, reliable and expandable revenue.

Here it is illustrated:

Comparing direct mail with bequests legacies and major donor 65pc ROI

A great chart for your board when you are seeking investment, and a great approach for breaking down internal silos.

If you’d like to learn more about how you can mine this gold, check out my Mid-Value Donor Super Course that is available to all members inside The Fundraisingology Lab

It’s the quickest, cheapest and easiest way to raise more money for your charity!

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