How personalized mailers can boost your fundraising efforts

Personalized Direct Mail For Fundraising

If you’ve been disappointed with the results of your fundraising and appeal campaigns, then it’s time to try a more personalized approach.

A personalized mailer or letter creates a strong connection between the donor and your organization. Segmentation and personalization also enable you to use your budget wisely, making targeted, slick appeals to your best donors, while using more affordable means to communicate with your lower-dollar donors.

Letters give you space to tell an engaging story about your organization’s mission and all you’ve accomplished with their past donations. They also enable you to make a potent emotional appeal to your donors. Direct mailers enable you to hit their mailbox with a colorful, attention-getting piece while driving them to your website to donate electronically.

Basic personalization consists of each donor’s name and address. But so much more is possible. Here are a few ideas to help you boost your response rates and donations:

Personalize a return card with their name and member number and leave space for them to write in the amount of their donation. This makes it easier to enter their donations into your computer system. The return card can also be designed so the donor’s name and address appear in a window envelope for mailing to them – making it do double duty!

Include the amount of their last donation with a suggested donation for the current campaign. Asking for the right amount from each person on your mailing list raises your donation potential. This approach works because it reminds donors of their past support and encourages them to be consistent in their behavior.

Personalize the mailer based on their profession. A mailer to nurses, for example, could contain an art element shaped like a badge where each nurse’s first name could be imprinted. In addition, an appeal letter could refer to their profession and could contain an image that’s relevant to it – someone with whom the donor can identify.

Personalize the mailer based on demographic information. You can also vary the message of the mailer based upon age, sex, amount of previous donations and other variables. For millennials, for example, you could send out a mailer that drives them to donate online, while for older donors, a letter with a donation card would be more appropriate.

Personalize based on donation amounts: Segment your database based on donation amounts. Mail your best personalized pieces to your biggest donors. Use more affordable channels – such as email – to communicate with your low-dollar donors. This approach will give you a better return on your investment.

Keep the personalization going with online appeals. Direct mail works best when it’s integrated with digital channels because it gives advocates more ways to engage, donate, promote and support your organization.

Why not start off your campaign with a personalized mailer that encourages your constituents to donate online? You can then follow it up with several personalized emails that lead donors to a landing page that mimics the look of the print campaign and contains the same call to action.

According to, 50% more donors respond to direct mail when receiving the same call-to-action across multiple channels. In addition, 38% more donations happen when landing pages are branded to reinforce the intention of the gift.

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