Outside of a vibrant major gifts program direct mail is probably the number one way to raise money at most organizations. And direct mail will still be a major way to find donors for a long time to come but not forever. It appears that direct mail is on the decline. I know that I am way more responsive to an email that to any letter that I receive.
I think that we are still at the early stages of social media fundraising and we will see direct mail continue to decline and social media & online fundraising continue to grow. There are already organizations that raise hundreds of thousands of dollars using social media. Every organization needs to start developing a plan around using social media. Wouldn’t you rather be experimenting now than catching up when it is too late?
My advice is: don’t stop the direct mail campaigns that you are already doing. But, start to incorporate an online component. Start to figure out who your social media leaders are and how you can engage them. It will take a little bit of time to teach your donor community to raise money online but if we keep waiting we may find out that someday soon we are behind.