Five Maples’ Direct Mail Fundraising Blog

Wish your first-time donor renewal rates were higher? Part 4: Show them the impact of their giving

Say thank you. Then follow up with results. This series of posts on improving your first-time donor retention has stressed the truism: Saying thank you never goes out of style. There is no greater way of thanking your donors than showing them the impact of their generosity. At heart, your donors want to know: Why […]

Wish your first-time donor renewal rates were higher? Part 3: Press send.

In this series of posts, founded upon the premise that first time donor renewal is critical for improving your organization’s long-term fundraising success, I’ve addressed the importance of thanking your donors. I provided suggestions for sending a strong thank you letter through the mail as first in a series of thank yous, plural. I shared […]

Neuroscience reveals why direct mail raises more money than digital.

Our clients (except Bernie Sanders, but that’s another story) find that direct mail fundraising outperforms digital fundraising by ten times or more. Why won’t donors respond to digital solicitations? Don’t they know it’s easier and less expensive to send an email than a letter? Guess what: consumers are no different. Check out the results of […]

In fundraising, direct mail still outperforms email. Here’s why.

Crickets—the sound you hear when you ask your team about returns on your email fundraising efforts. You’re not alone. We live in a digital age, but digital raises less than a tenth of the money that direct mail raises. Study Email Response Rate M+R/NTEN 2016 Benchmarks Study (fundraising) 0.08% DMA 2015 Response Rate Report (advertising) […]

Wish your first-time donor renewal rates were higher? Part 2: Pick up the phone

In the first post of this series, I shared a strategy for sending out an effective thank you letter. Too many organizations stop there. Remember, I spoke of your thank you letter as the first in a series of thank yous, plural. So, the thank you letter is in the mail. What next? Pick up […]

Wish your first-time donor renewal rates were higher? Part 1: Write a better thank you letter

Improving first time donor renewal is essential for improving your organization’s long-term fundraising success. How you respond to a donor’s first gift is vitally important. A critical—and often taken for granted—first step is the way you say thank you. How does your organization let donors know they and their gifts are appreciated? How do you […]

How to design a donor-centric response card for annual appeal mailings

First, grab your donor’s attention. Attract the eye to the card with some spot color. Then, prime the donor’s brain with an affirmation, a donor benefit word, and a suggested gift amount. Use words like invest, protect, participate, gratitude—words that remind the donor why she is giving. When donors fill out the response card, it’s […]

Why this development director was blind to her declining retention rate – and what she’s doing about it now

Our client finally turned the corner after four consecutive years of decline. Revenue and number of donors both increased last year after hitting rock-bottom the year before. The development director was feeling optimistic. So what compelled her to write this memo the very day we delivered her Five Maples custom donor analytics report? The note […]

How Ben Franklin helped drive a 600% increase in a single e-mail appeal

I found something remarkable about what donors respond to this past December. And, it turns out, Ben Franklin figured this one out more than 250 years ago! The chart below shows how much was given in response to each of the seven year-end emails we wrote for Sustainable Harvest International. Promise of a match made […]

Want a successful fundraising year? Start with these planning basics.

Download Our Free Planning Template. Those organizations that really benefit from the year-end surge in giving don’t wait until they’re done with Thanksgiving dinner to start the process. No, they start working their plan in January and keep at it each and every month. They do it through a steady drumbeat of planned “touches” with […]