Fundraising ain’t for the weak among us.  And if you’re a DIRECT MAIL marketer, well, these days you may feel like an outcast in your organization.

But whether you’re on the outs or in the in-crowd, you need to get along with your colleagues in digital, telemarketing, peer-to-peer, events.  Why?  You’ll raise more money for the cause.  Your donors will like you more and reward you by sticking around a lot longer, and you’ll be happier.

But let’s backtrack a bit.  Let’s look at some numbers that would bring many to their knees:

1. Every 100 donors gained were offset by 105 in lost donors through attrition.
This fact is from the “Fundraising Effectiveness Project.” Another stat from the Project tells us that the overall nonprofit donor retention rate was 39% in 2013.  No comment necessary.

2. Recurring gift donors accounted for only 10% of all U.S. donors.
This comes from the donorCentrics “U.S. Recurring Giving Benchmarking Analysis” study. Organizations are missing out on stable, predictable, and highly profitable fundraising revenue. Remember — the biggest predictor of repeat giving is donation recency.  Recurring donors are your most valuable.  (Our new Donor2 product helps here.)

3. Fundraising email response rate is 0.07%.
This comes from the 2014 M+R “Benchmarks Study.” That means more than 99% of fundraising emails don’t yield a donation.

4. New donor acquisition fell from 2012 to 2013 by 3.2%.
Overall, the nonprofit arena has not experienced positive year-to-year overall donor growth since the U.S. Gulf Coast hurricanes in the third quarter of 2005.

Oh my. Those numbers are scary. And they tell you why fundraising is NOT for the weak. But they also tell you that you’ve got a tremendous opportunity to do better — for your donors, for your organization, and for the cause it serves.  So how do you do it?

Research, test, analyze.

Touch, move, inspire.

Thank, welcome, invite.

Be where your donor wants you to be.

Look at what happens when you and your colleagues work together:

Response Rates Increase When Print is Combined with Other Channels

These are some strong numbers. They tell you that your donors travel — from their mailbox, to their phone, to their computer. And you have the chance to reinforce your message — to deepen your relationship with them in each of those places. When you do that, your donors will reward you for the effort.

Digital, direct mail, telemarketing, peer-to-peer. Each strengthening the other when they work together. At Innovairre we can help you deliver the best multichannel direct marketing experience… the highest numbers… the most money. Because we know how good that will make you feel.

– CSI practices the science of marketing at Innovairre, which helps more than 500 nonprofit organizations around the world. For help with your multichannel fundraising activities or anything else, contact us at