Experience shows that a poor package mailed to a great list may succeed, while a great package mailed to a poor list will flounder. And yet, the selection of mailing lists is often accomplished haphazardly, with little prior knowledge, testing and research. Your mailing list should be more than just a spreadsheet. It represents your members, your donors, and your fundraising success.

Are you currently allowing your printer to handle the details of your mailing list for each project? Does your printer know how often your donors are giving? Is your organization retaining your donors? What percentage of your donor base has upgraded to major contributors? MJO can help you answer these vital questions about your organization! We can segment your mailing list according to giving history, including highest gift amount and last gift date, so you can determine appropriate ask amounts, frequency of mailings and assignment of key codes for analysis. Your donor base is vital to your survival, and you will need to "touch" your donor base at least 8 times a year. The most common way is with a quarterly newsletter and a quarterly appeal package. Unfortunately, you can not afford to only mail to your donor base.

You will need to create and manage a well-planned, annual donor acquisition program as well. The average response rate for a direct mail donor acquisition mailing is 1%, thus you must mail 100 letters to acquire 1 new donor. And mail 10,000 letters to acquire 100 new donors. Generating a donor in an acquisition mailing is more important that receiving the donation. The higher your response rate, the more donors you acquire. And the more donors you acquire, the more donors you can appeal to in the coming months, leading to higher revenue over time. Your future success is a direct result of your ability to mange your donor base effectively and consistently between each appeal.

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