In keeping with the fundraising secrets on using the PS and writing with blue ink, I’m offering Fundraising Secret #7: Don’t ask for money on a post card (or a credit card number on a postcard).

It’s amazing but some of us do it! I did it last year. It seemed like an inexpensive way to remind people to give.

But one of the most important things about direct mail is that we need to supply a response mechanism. That’s why we always put a return envelope in with our letter. With a postcard, there’s no way for people to respond. Unless you expect them to go through the effort of getting to a computer and making a gift online. (Like I did.)

You guessed it. Practically no response.

Worse is when we ask a donor to use a postcard as the response mechanism. Sometimes we try to make responding to an appeal so easy, and so cheap for us, that we lose common sense.

I’ve even seen organizations ask, not only for a pledge with a postcard, but even credit card information! Credit card information!

Here’s where a good case of PYITSput yourself in their shoes–would really help us out.

Would you give your credit card information on the back of a postcard? Why not ask for their Social Security Number or their estate plans! 🙂

Postcards are like mini billboards. You wouldn’t ask you donor to put their credit card info or death plans on a billboard, would you?

Postcards are terrific for announcing events. Or getting the word out about a new initiative. But a postcard is an abysmal way to raise money!

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