Political junk mail can hurt your fall fundraising letters

Direct Mail Return Envelope for Fundraising Letters
If you're like many nonprofits, you've sent a fall fundraising appeal this month and you plan on sending one towards the end of the year.

You might want to reconsider that plan.

NPR did a great piece on political direct mail. It's definitely worth listening to, but here are two take-a-ways:

  • It's going to be noisy in the mail box

    There is going to be a lot more mail in people's mailboxes. According to NPR, if you thought the political ads on TV were bad, you haven't seen anything yet. Political junk mail is about to hit.

    So you may want to add another mailing or two to ensure your fundraising message is received.

  • Opt for earlier deadlines

    If you use a mailhouse, move up your entire mail schedule by 2 weeks. Political mail slows down all mailings, at least for the smaller nonprofits--which are most of us. So build in some buffer time. It's far better that the letter your donor normally receives on December 15 gets to them on December 1 rather than January 2.

    So build some margin into your schedule.

I'd encourage you to listen to the interview over at NPR. One of the direct mail experts has a great observation about plain mail vs. colorful graphics.

Next Tuesday, I'll be sharing a way to drive online donations. You can be among the first to get this article by signing up for my free email list at: http://fundraisingcoach.com/subscribe/.

About Marc Pitman

Marc A. Pitman is the author of Ask Without Fear!, director of The Nonprofit Academy, and founder of FundraisingCoach.com. A coach to leaders around the world, Marc's expertise and enthusiasm engages audiences and has caught the attention of media organizations as diverse as Al Jazeera and Fox News. Marc’s experience also includes pastoring a Vineyard church, managing a gubernatorial campaign, and teaching internet marketing and fundraising at colleges and universities. He is the husband to his best friend and the father of three amazing kids. And if you drive by him on the road, he’ll be singing 80’s tunes loud enough to embarrass his family!

Follow him on Google+, on Twitter @marcapitman, and like "Ask Without Fear!" on Facebook.

What would you add?