Learning from the Direct Mail Contribution Report

How is your station reaching out to donors?

Individual direct mail contributions have been on the decline for a few years now. Although it fell again in 2016 (less than one percent), it is better than the 4.5 and 5.5 percent declines in 2014 and 2015.

According to the article, Preliminary Report on Charitable Direct Mail Contribution Volume in 2016, this decline across the industry is due to many internal and external influences. Contributions vary month to month and year to year depending on many circumstances in the market. For example, it is not shocking that political direct mail contributions increased during the election year.

Some influences include:

  • More direct mail donors moving to online channels
  • Direct mail budgets being cut/remaining budgets being limited
  • Decline in response rates from donors
  • Active donor retention rates and overall frequency of giving overall was lower in 2016

The report gives some the impression that people are becoming less charitable year by year and others believe that donors are giving more, but to less charities. This is evident across more donation channels than just direct mail.

Whatever the case may be, it is our job to reach donors and understand the industry and its evolution every year. In “a future of uncertainty” we must maximize opportunity, understand the nuances of the market, and create a rewarding giving experience for our donors.

Has your station noticed any other trends in donation channels?

Many stations are hesitant to execute Acquisition mail for several reasons:

  • Too much upfront risk
  • Limited or no access to resources (creative, list sources, production)
  • Bandwidth/staffing issues

But, at CDP we have created a turn-key Acquisition Mail program that eliminates these barriers creating a “NO RISK” program for stations. We will manage the list sourcing, creative licensing, and production/mailing of a station-branded package on your behalf and you will only pay for acquired members at a cost of $55 per donor. There is no upfront cost and no risk.

To learn more, visit: cdpcommunity.org/acq.
For FY18, CDP will be mailing in August, November, January and March.

To get involved with our August mailing, we will need to hear from you by May 19th. To get a contract or more information, please contact Brooks Heckner

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