Attention Non-Profits: Want to Increase Online Donations? Use Direct Mail

It's no secret the economic downturn has been especially hard on non-profits - budgets have been slashed and many long standing donors are unable to contribute at the levels they once had. That's why it's so important for charitable groups to get the most bang for their buck when it comes to marketing - once again direct mail is a proven means for delivering results.

According to a national Dunham+Company study recently conducted by research firm Campbell Rinker, more than twice as many online donors say they were prompted to give an online gift in response to a direct mail appeal compared to when they received an e-appeal, . In a surprising finding, 14 percent said that a direct mail letter prompted them to give online versus only 6 percent who said an email prompted their online gift.

Further underlining the importance of direct mail to motivate online giving, 1 in 3 donors (37 percent) who give online say that when they receive a direct mail appeal from a charity they use the charity's website to give their donation.

In addition, the study found that the higher the household income, the more likely the direct mail recipient was to donate online. Nearly half (46 percent) of households making $75k+ said they would donate online compared to 37 percent of households making $25k-$74k and about one-third (32 percent) of households which make less than $25k.

"The purpose of this study was to try and understand what is driving online giving and how important offline communication is the source of increasing income to charity. What we found was quite surprising," said Rick Dunham, president and CEO of Dunham+Company. "Not only is offline communication important to driving online giving, it is actually much more important a catalyst to generating online gifts than we had anticipated."

Read more about the study and its findings at the Association of Fundraising Professionals.

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