A Profile on our Non-Profit Consultant, Jacqueline BeckfordBefore joining us at Troi Mailing Services, Jacqueline Beckford worked mainly in a fundraising capacity, and brings that deep knowledge of the non-profit industry’s strategies in fundraising to the direct mail side here at Troi. Through her patient data work and consulting of best practices for the use of direct mail fundraising, Jacqueline is a huge asset to not-for-profit companies looking to improve communication with their donor base. Jacqueline is currently engaged by one of Troi’s non-profit clients in a consultant role. Through working with this client, we have grown their donations in the 2019-2020 calendar years, increased response rates, and shown them new ways to expand their fundraising efforts using different streams of mail – while improving their current direct mail streams. Here, Jacqueline gives us some pointers on good practices for companies to consider when improving their donor relationships.
In connecting with your audience, you need to know them. In the not-for-profit sector, your database is an important tool in getting to know your donors and making your organization’s interaction with the donor a positive experience.
To make your database function in the direct mail industry, it needs to be up to date and accurate. Ensure you have the correct title, salutation, address and giving history for your donors. Some charities will even capture their donor’s date of birth in their database, so they can send them a personalized postcard on their birthday, and to promote planned giving.
Data can help to enhance your direct marketing campaigns and communicate on a more personal level with your donors. The more accurate data you have, the more opportunity you will have to make your direct mail messaging highly targeted and foster a relationship with your donor.
Remember, a good mailing campaign starts with good data!
Some solutions to keep your database up to date can be as simple as adding a reply postage guaranteed (RPG) to your indicia. In doing so, if the donor has moved and they provide a forwarding address to Canada Post, the mail you sent out will return to the organization with the new address or will just inform you that the person has moved. This service is free through Canada Post.
If your organization hasn’t updated their address in a while, other than an address validation and correction, Troi offers a National Change of Address (NCOA) sortation. This will help update your list with the most current address of your donors.
Here is an example using one of the charities we’ve worked with in a consultation fundraising role since 2018. The Client and Jacqueline developed a strategy to utilize their data to produce a targeted personalized donor-centered direct mail package. Through tracking their donor giving history, we reviewed their entire donor database and their donor giving history. We were able to divide up their database into five categories, then developed a matrix based on the donors’ giving history.
Each package sent out was personalized and the matrix on the reply device reflected each donor’s giving history, while offering the donor the opportunity to move up the donor pyramid of giving. The letter thanked the donor for their previous gift and the appeal they responded to. This is an excerpt from one of the letters, “Thank you so much for your thoughtful contribution to the GIFT campaign. We’ve missed you, and we haven’t heard from you since <<last gift date>>.”
The letters were also personalized with the donor’s first name strategically positioned throughout to provide a one-on-one conversation with the donor. Hyper-personalization is a great way to ensure your donors feel as if they are part of your cause!
Within the first year of this organization leveraging their data to communicate with their donors, they noticed an increase in their response rate and donation. By the second year, they were able to meet their projected targeted goal. Our Client cites:
Jacqueline’s expertise in strategic and personalized direct mail fundraising and database management were key to increasing our success year over year and helped us to reach our annual appeal goal of $300,000. In 2018, we had 225 direct mail donors respond to our appeal, and this increased to 280 donors in 2019. Our results went from $220,000 in 2018 to $303,000 in 2019 an increase of 38%.
In continuing to work with Troi Mailing Services and Jacqueline, this Client will explore new streams of mail to continue exceeding their goals in 2020!
Are you interested in a free consultation for direct mail fundraising? Please call Jacqueline and our Troi teammates at 1-866-486-9350 to schedule your one-on-one session.
We look forward to collaborating on solutions for your not-for-profit mailing goals together.
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Posted by Seamus Barton on 20 September 2021
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