(Chuck Muth) – The biggest challenge to fundraising in the mail is…getting your envelope opened.
Unless they open the envelope, your chances for a donation or meeting with a prospective major donor are…zero.
Enter “lumpy mail,” as explained by fundraising expert Joe Garecht…
“Are you having trouble getting prospects to return your calls and set up meetings with your team? Are you looking for fundraising tips for getting through gatekeepers and getting in to see decisionmakers? If you want to get the meeting, send lumpy mail!
“As the name implies, lumpy mail is mail that feels ‘lumpy’ in the envelope. It means sending mail that includes something related to your non-profit that makes people want to open your envelope, just to see what is inside. For example, a zoo or animal shelter could send a letter along with a small stuffed animal… or a children’s museum could send a letter with a small toy inside, etc.
“Send an item along with your letter will increase the curiosity of your recipient and make them far more likely to open and read your letter. For even more success, send your lumpy mail by FedEx, which will make your recipient even more likely to open it. Just be careful: sending lumpy mail (especially by FedEx) can get expensive, so only use it for those prospective donors with high capacity and high affinity for your mission.”
You don’t want to use FedEx to send a fundraising pitch to prospects who are only likely to give twenty-five bucks. But if it’s for someone you reasonably believe can and might write a check for $500, or $1,000 or more…then the investment makes sense.
P.S. And here’s a little-known money saver: If you’re shipping an envelope, choose FedEx’s 4-day, one-rate, express-saver option. Same envelope. Same impressive impression, but for only around ten bucks.