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


Oct 27, 2021

Is Mail Still a Viable Origin for Mid/Major Donors?

I have some crazy good news. YES! Direct mail acquisition is still a GREAT source for filling your mid/major donor pipeline.

We recently studied over 20 organizations from three different categories (public media, food banks and missions). We were looking at the relationship between acquiring donors through direct mail over the past 5 years and the percentage of those DM-acquired donors who eventually gave cumulatively $1,000 or more in a year.

Drum roll. . . .

Consistently, about 4% of the DM-acquired donors over the last five years gave more than $1,000 in a year.

That’s huge.

I know the common narrative over the past decade is that direct mail acquisition is expensive and dying. But, like a lot of narratives in our world today, the data doesn’t support it. Contrarily, not only do direct mail-acquired donors have the best retention rates of any channel, but our analysis shows that a lot of direct mail donors you acquire today will be filling your major gift officer’s portfolios tomorrow.

So, if your board of directors is on the fence about the costs of direct mail acquisition, show them this stat. Cutting direct mail acquisition means reducing your future donations.

Top 5 Mistakes: #5 CRM Expectations

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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One More Gift from Sustainers

I think we’d all agree that sustainers are great. Having a group of donors that have committed to giving every month is like money in the bank. And, not surprisingly, a lot of organizations are careful to limit additional appeals to this group so not to alienate any...

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Early Returns

We are knee-deep in analyzing last fall’s results. While there is of course some variation in results by organization, the general narrative is that last fall wasn’t great . . . but it wasn’t awful either. It was just OK. What we are seeing is that overall revenue was...

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