The latest Pareto Benchmarking figures show that the number of new donors acquired by the 82 participating charities in 2016 was less than in 2015. These charities include a majority of charities raising over $20m in 2016, and a good selection of medium-sized fundraising organisations as well.
With more than 65% of all regular givers and appeal donors acquired by face to face or direct mail, whatever happens to these two channels influences the big picture more than anything else.
By the end of 2015, intense acquisition strategies from many charities, large budgets and our small population of people aged over 65 (the average age of a direct mail donor is around 73) led to many charities simply running out of new people to ask. Unless charities have great mid, major and bequest donor strategies in place, direct mail has slipped from being a great acquisition tool to just an OK one.
However, direct mail can’t be looked at on its own as it’s about the donors not the channel in isolation. The long term benefit is really in bequests.