Posted 03rd February 2016 by APSIS

Email & the Modern Fundraiser (Pt 2): What's your plan?

Direct mail is still the King of Fundraising. Email, though, is the faithful servant. Why then does the servant get so little attention?  


“Most donors are seniors.”

Have you heard this before? You’re probably not alone. People of a golden age often donate to charities, and since they’re the main target group for non-profit organisations, they’re the ones who deserve most attention. After all, without their generous contributions, several organisations would collapse!

I believe this is the reason why non-profit organisations are always a step behind when it comes to digital marketing. They assume that Grandma doesn’t want emails, she wants a letter to hold in her hands. Grandma isn’t on Facebook, so why target her with social media. But is this assumption still valid?

True, the majority of seniors may not have social media accounts, but they almost certainly have email addresses. And what about the younger donors? A charity’s demographic can change drastically in just a few years, and if you don’t have a good email strategy, you might fall behind.

So what is your strategy? Do you have one at all?

“Our organisation does so many different things, and we don’t know how to talk to all the different people in our audience.”

Sound familiar? The thing with this statement is that it’s just not valid anymore. Every non-profit organisation does many things, and has donors and volunteers from a diverse background. This is why email (the faithful servant, remember?) is so valuable for marketing departments! Email service providers like APSIS give you the chance to address ALL your target groups in the way you want to - and it is far more cost-efficient than using traditional, printed material.

“I wish we could focus more on our email strategy, but it often comes after everything else on our to-do list. There’s just no time!”

Which is why you may want to rethink your to-do list. Email is just as important a part of your communication plan than anything else. With this fantastic tool, you can thank your generous donors, tell success stories, send reports on different projects, give volunteers practical information, send holiday greetings, run campaigns… And the list goes on.

Still not convinced? Think about this: how many hours does creating all the communications listed above on printed material take? What does it cost? Don’t you think you could use the time and money you save by transferring them to email?

“But I’m STILL worried about our senior demographic…”

That’s fine, because their is a simple solution: ask them what they think! Just give them a call, and tell them about the many benefits of using email. Give them the chance to choose between hearing from you via email or direct mail in the future. Of course there will still be those who prefer direct mail, and you should definitely listen to their opinion. But for the ones who choose email: go for it! (Just like with your younger target groups.) Take the leap!

By Line Konstali, APSIS Consultancy (Professional Services)


Want to read more about email marketing and fundraising? Check out the first part of our blog series: How do I start?