Liz Grinnell by

5 Direct Mailing Tips For Your Next Nonprofit Mailing


It’s that time of year again, and whether you’re a nonprofit, member-funded or another type of organization, you are busy putting together and executing great mailing campaigns.  Developing and executing a great direct mailing campaign can be a bit overwhelming. The initial investment and time can be scary especially, if you’ve never done a campaign like this or if you’ve not had success previously.

As you’re getting ready for this years or any future campaign, be sure to look over the below 5 tips that could help your organization stand out and create more impact.

Tip #1: Tell Your Story

Instead of showing your audience a pie chart or giving them statistics, tell them a good story! Talk to one of your volunteers or someone within the organization who works for your cause everyday and get their story.  Focus on telling that story and the impact or effect it has had on them. Asking your audience to feel the emotional side of what you will help to maximize your chances of gaining a donation.

Tip #2: Show Impact

You’ll want to show how their donation will be used or how it will make an impact, no matter what level of money they give.  And a great way to do that is with imagery or design.  A great example is the ASPCA campaign featuring Sarah McLachlan and all the animals that are in need of help. I’m sure you know what I’m talking about. As hard as it is to see the imagery or hear what is happening to the animals, it’s enough for anyone (animal lover or not) to give a donation. You see firsthand the impact of what the ASCPA is working towards and the result of what your donation can do to help. So show your audience how they can help and make a lasting impact towards your cause.

Tip #3: Get Creative

This is your chance to get in front of your target audience and you only have a few seconds to grab their attention, so don’t be boring! You want them to feel your enthusiasm and passion for what you do. Your mailing should be engaging and create interest so they read your message. Unfortunately, this time of year you will not be the only one asking for a monetary gift so it’s time to make sure your cause stands out! Whether it’s the imagery,  size or colors,  the main goal is always to engage and not bore your viewer!

Tip #4: Have A Strong Call To Action

However you choose to send your campaign this year, don’t forget to have a strong call to action listed on your piece. Don’t assume that it is obvious that your audience, will know what you’re looking for them to do. Be clear on the action you want them to take, (i.e. give now or donate today). Keep it short and to the point!

Tip #5: Target Your Audience

Nobody knows your audience better than you do, you are the expert when it comes to your ideal prospect. So when you send out your mailing, not only should you mail to your in-house list, but also target new people who potentially value you the same thing that you’re working towards. This would require you to purchase a list, but the benefits that can come from a list that is highly targeted will potentially get you a front row seat to the the exact demographic you want to see your message.

These are just a handful of tips to help maximize your efforts this year and in the future. Make the most of your mailing campaign and don’t forget to capitalize on all the different communication channels that you have available!