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Mistakes Committed in Direct Mail for Non Profits Fundraising Letters

Bruce Markey

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Raising money with funds constitute an integral part of a fundraising program. However, it is very complicated. You can make many mistakes that can undermine the success of the appeal. Here are stated some of the mistakes made in the direct mail for non profits fundraising letters.

• You will be making a mistake assuming that donors are aware of what you expect them to do. You must ask for a gift and include reply envelope to make it easier for the donors to send you a gift.

• Failing to personalize your letter to each of the donor is harmful for your appeal and can send out wrong messages as well. You are actually insulting a donor contributing to your organization for several years, by not using the name. Using a window envelops with the name and address of the recipient reduces the labor involved in preparing the mail and keeping down the costs.

• You will be making a mistake by using a dirty list. You must keep the list clean to ensure success of your appeal. You must run the list through NCOA (National Change of Address). Make it a point to correct address of donors who have moved. You must exclude address of donors who have deceased from your list from time to time.

• You need to make sure you are asking for the right donation amount. The amount that you ask for must be of use for the development of your organization.

• Ignoring automation benefits is another mistake committed by direct mail for nonprofits fundraising letters. To make the most of the postage rates, your return envelop must have the right postal markings. The color, shape, size of your envelop must be considered for USPS regulations. When you are planning your mail with a knowledgeable mailer, you are actually saving money on the postage.

• Timing plays a very important role in direct mail for non profits. You need to think if you are mailing during the best time of the year. If you are coordinating with other activities to ensure maximum media exposure, if you have planned your mailing so that you have sufficient time to prepare, if your mailing comes with a “reply date” and if you have allowed sufficient time to the recipient to respond.

• Poor quality of the letter will fail to bring out the best appeal in your mail. You will certainly not want to send out something that appears a bad or poor copy.

• Are you paying too much for postage? Are you seeking advantage of the nonprofit pre-sorted postage rates? Are you aware of the fact that you can use a stamp and yet get lower rates?

• You must set goals for each of the appeals and measure the success. You need to measure the success rates. Apart from this, you must also be aware of the average size of your gifts and analyze if the major donors have self-identified themselves.

This Article was written by Kevin Gaeth. Visit our site at and for more details.

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