Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Can we get rid of that "old" direct mail?

Here is another great infographic from Kivi Leroux Miller's Nonprofit Marketing Guide.com site. It is compiled from their 2012 Nonprofit Communications Trends Report

It is interesting how the "new media" -- website, email marketing, e-newletters and Facebook -- are deemed either very important or somewhat important to a higher degree than the "tried-and-true" print newsletters and direct mail. 

This is particularly intriguing in light of fundraising expert Jeff Brooks' recent post on his Future Fundraising Now blog entitled What's wrong with the Next Big Thing? To quote:
One of the most pointless and uninteresting things you can hear is that something is the Next Big Thing in Fundraising.
Anything that's being bandied around as a "big thing" is not a big thing. Not yet, and probably not ever.
You'll know a thing is big when nobody's calling it a big thing any more -- but they're just using it successfully to meet their goals. 
Another way you can tell a thing is big is when people start claiming it's "dead".
The two Biggest Things in Fundraising today are direct mail and the house of worship collection plate.
Now, it is important to distinguish considering these newish channels from the standpoint of communication versus solicitation.  Electronic channels will serve an ever more prominent role in getting the word outTruly, email, websites, social media, et al are important components in any nonprofits communication arsenal.

The problem lies in the belief that any of these will supplant direct mail or in-person solicitations as a significant source of gift revenue any time soon. And oh, how we yearn to replace costly direct mail with something inexpensive such as email! Do not succumb to this spurious temptation! 

Use email to support direct mail. Employ social media to provide broader opportunities for education and engagement. Spruce up your website and make sure that it tells your story in a clear and compelling manner. But realize your gifts will come mostly through old-fashioned but lucrative channels. 

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