True or False? Trees Are Being Destroyed to Produce Catalogs and Direct Mail Pieces


False:  Trees are not direct mail.  Printed communication is direct mail, but trees?  No!  Let’s get this straight once and for all so we can lay to bed this myth which we’re asked about from time to time.  Sustainable forestry throughout North America has grown the amount of forested lands significantly in recent years, providing a steady, responsible supply of fiber used to make paper.  Trees are harvested and replanted on a continuing basis .  In fact, we have more forests in the United States than we did 50 years ago and about the same forest land in the U.S. as we had 100 years ago (U.S. Forest Resource Facts and Historical Trends).  Old-growth forests are not harvested to make direct mail paper, and the marketplace is beginning to “certify” paper that originates from sustainably forested lands.



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6 Direct Mail ?’s that Can Improve Your Nonprofit letters

1.  Does your letter speak to the values your donors use to make decisions?

2.  Do you use the same language your donors use?

3.  Is what you are saying credible and verifiable?

4.  Does the tone of your letter speak both to the emotional and intellectual needs of your donors?

5.  Does your content pull at the heart strings?

6.  Is your letter as persuasive as it can be?


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11 Strategies for Increasing Annual Fund Donations

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1.  Tell real stories.  Donors want to know how your npo is serving others, so give an example.

2.  Until they donate, send 3 mailings a year.   Once they donate, ask again before the 9-month umbrella closes.

3.  Send a thank you letter within a week.

4.  When asking, be specific.

5.  Personalize, personalize, personalize with data, text and graphics for best RoMI.

6.  Personalize the response device for better accuracy on your end and convenience on the donor’s end.

7.  Use a stamp , not your indicia or meter on these personalized communications.

8.  Always use a courtesy reply envelope.

9.  Repeat or summarize the letter’s most important message in the P.S.

10.  Targeting your message to segments = best return on investment.

11.  Analyze your mailings.

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USPS Plans to Give OK to Allow Mailer Logos and Marks on Permit Indicias

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The United States Postal Service is planning to allow commercial mailers to include logos, trademarks, brand images or other kinds of marketing designs in the permit imprint indicia area of their mail.  This will allow for immediate recognition of logos, products or promotions while boosting the visual impact of the mail piece.

It is expected that the offering will be available by June 24, 2012 for commercial mailers of presorted 1st-Class letters and cards or Standard Mail letters.  This should provide customers with advertising opportunities without impacting required indicia information on the mail piece.

Your input is requested:  Will you be willing to pay the expected 1 cent (for 1st-class letters and cards) and 2 cents (standard mail  letters) for this premium placement of your logo on your indicia?





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“No Applause Please, Save It for the End!”


Those of you old enough to remember comedian Dom DeLuise will remember him saying this after a particularly funny joke.  In much the same way, this is what 21st century philanthropist H. Gerry Lenfest was saying when he was asked about his expectations after making a gift:

“Those of us who make planned gifts do not expect, nor do we want, lavish thank-you presents or excessive recognition.  However, we do want to know that the organizations we support appreciate our philanthropy and will use our gift in the way we intend.”

Please share how you show your appreciation for your donors gifts.  We’re sure you thank them, but how are you “stewarding” them?


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