Learn more about analytics and research best practices, as well as real world examples and solutions for nonprofits.


Jun 3, 2024

Fundraising Forward

Postage rates and problematic delivery are making me rethink how fundraising might need to adapt moving forward. In 2024, First Class postage is a whopping 73 cents (who knew when those “forever” stamps don’t put the amount on them?) and nonprofit postage is between 17- 23 cents – depending upon the pre-sort.

In my last blog, I talked about the USPS trend of holding appeal letters with nonprofit postage, and then mailing them all on the same day. That means your donors are receiving multiple appeals on the same day, making it hypercompetitive. This is a key reason response rates are declining. So, even though nonprofit postage is much less expensive, it is no longer effective. To have a chance to stand out, organizations are going to have to move to First Class postage.

This will cause a major shift in fundraising cultivation strategy.

Direct mail, which has been the bread & butter cultivation strategy for general donors, will become a mid-level donor cultivation tool. The higher costs to cultivate through the mail will make it cost prohibitive for your general donors.

Instead, general (or low value) donors will only be cultivated via email. Your major donors should still be cultivated on a one-to-one basis.

The big question is, how should an organization segment between the three donor value groups? The answer is going to be different for each organization depending upon your donors’ performance and the costs of your cultivation programs.

Once we have your data, Analytical Ones can implement a methodology that will define these donor value groups for your organization so you can apply the right cultivation strategies to optimize your fundraising.

Test First Class Postage this Fall

One of the disturbing USPS trends – other than raising the cost of postage every year – is the bulk delivery of appeal letters with nonprofit postage. Over the past year, when I check my mailbox for the appeal letters I’m seeded on, I have noticed that I receive all...

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Top 5 Mistakes: #1 Stopping New Donor Acquisition

I have been analyzing the fundraising business for nearly three decades and over the years I keep seeing nonprofit organizations making the same mistakes. These errors hold organizations back. If you are new to fundraising, please commit yourself to avoiding these...

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