A good case for doing more DM

Damian at Ask Direct did a great post a while back making the case for doing more DM. Ok its his business but what Damian is actually doing is reporting the results he has seen and its a really useful post.  Even more so becuase what he is saying is true!

If you are making the case for DM in your organisation take a read why Damian thinks now is the time to do more:

In short, because it will make you money. Today and into the future. In fact, it may be the most secure method of fundraising to invest in during a downturn.

But I would say that, wouldn’t I? I run a direct marketing agency.

Well let’s look at the data.

Of the five donor mailings we produced for clients last Christmas for which we have results and a valid comparator, four did better than in 2007 in terms of response rate and income. Average gifts varied – some steady, some up, some down. But overall income for the four in question was up on 2007.

OK, so donors are still giving. What about recruitment?

If anything, the picture is even better. Each of the four campaigns where we can benchmark against a previous campaign show better results for Christmas 2008 than 12 months previously.

Ah, you say, but the economy is deteriorating at such a pace that last Christmas isn’t relevant anymore. There’s another 100,000 people out of work. We’ve been battered, bludgeoned and budgeted by bad news. And anyway, Christmas was a last hurrah, the celtic tiger donors dispensing the last of their alms before battening down the hatches and canceling their foreign holidays, kitchen extensions and charity direct debits.

Actually, no. The sky hasn’t fallen in in 2009. It’s early days yet, but we’ve got initial results in from two campaigns so far and both are up – significantly – on 2008. And that’s for donor mailings and cold recruitment.

Donors are still giving. New donors are still signing up. While many of us are understandably trimming back it seems clear that, for ordinary people, the desire to help others is as strong – or stronger – than ever. Philanthropy is not the first thing go. Far from it.


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