People in your shoes also sometimes hear “No” way more than “Yes” when you want to try new things.
Some of the strategies seem gimmicky. Low brow. And not at all what you would write if you were asking someone for a donation.
Some of the cleverest ideas fail. Some of the tactics you wish your organization would never have to rely on … actually keep the lights on because they keep working.
Sometimes adding colors, photos, and the things that seem more dignified … work. Sometimes they bomb.
Meanwhile, you probably get complaints from donors about mistakes in the mail. Board members email you — because they usually don’t like “junk mail.”
Direct mail seems old and outdated to many people. It seems terribly costly.
Donor acquisition is a such big expense item on your budget … it can become an easy target for people who want to “increase the net” by “zeroing out” the investment in future direct mail acquisition mailings.
But if you do not replace the donors who are dying, moving, and falling away, a shrinking donor base can send your organizations into a tailspin — without a comprehensive plan (based on what actually works) to bring in new donors from other sources, raise gift levels and protect your organization from 30-50% losses in net income that other organizations have seen two and three years after “saving money” by zeroing out donor acquisition investments.