Judith Donovan CBE, Chair of the Strategic Mailing Partnership.

Member Article

SMP welcomes 'game-changing' guide for charities

A brand-new guide offering valuable advice into how charities can use mail to increase donations and find new supporters has been welcomed as a ‘game-changer’ by the Strategic Mailing Partnership.

The Power of Mail in Charity Fundraising, a joint project between Royal Mail and the Chartered Institute of Fundraising, shows how mail is crucial to fundraising campaigns, with the vast majority of users believing it builds loyalty, increases engagement and enhances the supporter experience.

The free guide explores the power of mail and offers ideas on how the third sector can make the most of mail, find new and improved ways to connect with supporters, to raise money and to improve the charity-supporter relationship.

It includes the latest research and practical knowledge on not-for-profit organisations can use mail, in addition to advice on how to plan, execute and measure marketing campaigns, such as:

• The use of technology to enable greater personalisation, such as personalised web links, QR codes and virtual or augmented reality devices; • Using metrics to track user patterns and responses; • Improved responsiveness by enabling charities to send out mail campaigns within 24-48 hours of an event. • Offering mail as a sustainable, environmentally-friendly option through the use of recycled paper, packaging materials, and biodegradable .

It outlines the different mail options available – such as addressed, partially addressed and unaddressed – and how each works for the sector. Some use direct mail appeals as a cost-effective way to target a core group of supporters to offer an easy, convenient way to donate. Others want to reach a certain group to raise funds.

In a Christmas campaign, the RNLI wanted to target Baby Boomers to raise money for a new boat. Appealing to their strong sense of community, supporters could donate to have their name added to a list etched into the boat’s number. More than £1.6m was donated, smashing the £1.4m target.

In 2018, the men’s health charity Movember carried out a door drop in key areas asking people to ‘Shave the Date’. The leaflet went to a quarter of a million households, outlining the charity’s work and offering a free razor to the first 20,000 people to sign up. The door drop alone attracted 1,500 new supporters while more than 300 existing donors signed up to take part.

SMP Chair Judith Donovan CBE said the guide would prove invaluable in promoting the medium of mail to the charity sector as a whole.

“This is a game-changer,” she said. “Mail is a vital medium that charities can use to reach out to their supporters in an increasingly crowded digital space, whether it takes the form of addressed letters, partially addressed door drops, newsletters, postcards or catalogues. “It is tangible, trusted and substantive and can have a very strong impact on engagement. Royal Mail surveys show that 92% of charity mail is opened, read and sorted with 65% likely to give it their full attention, which illustrates what an effective tool this can be.

“We have always known the value of the mail that our members produce – this new guide will be an invaluable tool in encouraging charities to get the most out of their mailings and we welcome its launch wholeheartedly.”

Royal Mail research shows people remember mail items for longer compared with email or social media content. It also reveals 92% of recipients engage with charity mail, 70% said mail made them feel valued and 65% were likely to give it their full attention.

According to the Chartered Institute of Fundraising , 82% of charities used mail for a fundraising or supporter engagement programme, 93% felt it enhanced the process of building loyalty and engagement and 82% thought it provided room for storytelling.

The guide is available for download from the MarketReach website.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Kate Wobschall .

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