Connecting online and offline fundraising strategies

Fundraising spans both the online and offline world. There are many tactics that nonprofits can use to engage donors on their website or social media sites, but it is also important to build a hearty relationship with people without the help of the Internet. Not everyone enjoys spending time on the Web and can become a dedicated giver if fundraisers take the time to interact with them in person or with direct mail. For both online and offline strategies to be effective, organizations should invest time into connecting their promotion activities and make a cohesive multichannel fundraising plan.

The benefits of direct mail
While many nonprofits may be focusing solely on online efforts, they are missing a big part of their promotional potential. Direct mail and Internet strategies go hand in hand and if companies invest in online payment solutions, they will need to make sure they are engaging people with tangible mail as well as social, website and other Web offers. Future Fundraising Now mentioned that many organizations are under the impression that direct mail is on its way out in terms of promotional trends, however that is far from the truth. There are always new and exciting ways to engage donors and potential givers with a mailing campaign and cross-channel efforts.

Understanding mailing campaigns
Before nonprofits begin a multichannel marketing campaign, they need to think about how to perfect both online and offline strategies. Direct mail is an ever-changing medium that can be very beneficial for building strong relationships with potential donors if done correctly. Third Sector Today offered a few great tips to help start direct mailings off correctly:

  1. Personalize as much as possible
    Donor interests and demographic details are an important part of each mailing. If mail recipients don't feel as though they connect with the nonprofits message or letter, they will not benefit from it nor will they seek additional information about the cause. Address people by name and try different segments that have slightly altered information that is presented in a visually appealing manner.
  2. Keep track of responses
    If a letter or piece of mail requests a response from recipients, keep track of who writes back and who doesn't. This type of information will be helpful when planning the next mailing campaign as it will tell fundraisers who connected with the marketing message and who didn't.
  3. Perfect the story and ask
    Storytelling is just as important offline as it is online. There are many avenues for stories with direct mail, from pamphlets and newsletters to personal letters and acknowledgement notes. In addition to creating the perfect story, make sure to craft a great hard and soft ask for each piece of mail.
  4. Always say thank you
    Showing gratitude with a piece of mail has a significant impact on donors. Direct mailings can be a powerful avenue to connect with supporters and a simple thank-you letter or acknowledgment note can build the relationship up for future gifts.
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