Many nonprofit orgs depend on bulk mail for donations and informational updates. When using direct mail for donations or fundraising, mailing to previous donors will obviously get the best response rate. However, there are ways to obtain a mailing list for new donors who are the most likely to respond and support the nonprofit organization.
Mail piece design is important but the mailing list is key to a successful campaign. Selecting mail list criteria based on your current donor characteristics will help with your response rate. That type of list is available by providing the list company a sampling of your current donor list and the list company will run your list and come up with people who closely match the characteristics of your current donors.
If you are a new nonprofit organization, you will need to take the time to really try and figure out who your most likely supporters and donors would be. This can take quite a bit of thinking but in the long run you will have a more successful direct mail campaign. I would also recommend doing a small test mailing to begin with. Just because you have purchased a large list and materials does not necessarily mean that you need to mail all at once. Money is tight for everyone right now, especially nonprofit’s so be smart and do a “test” if possible because after all, the postage is a large part of the bulk mail cost.
Always work with a Mail House that you feel will give you the extra attention you may need as most of your staff could be volunteers without the knowledge of running a direct mail campaign.