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Direct Mail Brings Huge Success By Christa Huff

Don’t Believe the Rumors About Direct Mail!

There have long been (unsubstantiated) rumors of the demise of direct mail. In fact, this workhorse of our direct response fundraising plan has been a steady, reliable source of funding. And after everything that happened in 2020, this approached turned into the fundraising hero of the year.

As we reviewed its impact for our clients’ fundraising programs, here are 4 contributors to direct mail’s roaring success:

  1. People are home more, craving interaction, and paying attention to what’s in their mailbox. One organization we serve experienced a 31% increase over the prior year in their results!
  2. Events have been put on hold indefinitely, as has the much-needed income they generate. But one organization we serve was able to make up a $1 million-dollar shortfall in events giving by implementing a strategic direct mail campaign.
  3. New audiences are engaging with the mail in ways we never thought they would. One study shows that even the younger demographics are interacting with and responding to direct mail like never before.
  4. Integrated communication fundraising plans (including direct mail, digital, telephone, traditional media, etc.) are increasing funding to all sources of income. Another organization we serve experienced a 47% year over year increase to their combined direct mail and digital programs as a result of their integrated fundraising plans.

So, to recap, those who maintained (or even amped up) their direct mail fundraising efforts in 2020 reaped the benefits of this tried and true fundraising source at this unique time—and those who didn’t are wishing they had. Since 2021 is proving to be another year of uncertainty, direct mail is one thing that can provide reliable results.

Are you ready for it?


Christa Huff is Senior Vice President, Client Services for Douglas Shaw and Associates. Her background in business growth and development as well as marketing, communications, and fundraising has made her an integral part of the DSA team.

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