No matter how well written your fundraising letters are, you won't raise any money if they don't end up in the hands of the right people. In order to enjoy a successful mail fundraising campaign, you have to have a good mailing list. It needs to be current, and include people who are likely to be interested in supporting your organization.
Organize Your Mailing List
If you plan to do mail fundraisers periodically, it's important to keep an organized database of past donors, volunteers, and prospective donors. You don't want to have to start from ground zero every time you get ready to send out a new mailing.
Add Prospects Your Mailing List
Smart fundraisers are always on the lookout for new prospective donors. Monitor your newspaper and local Chamber of Commerce to find out about new business opening in your area. These organisations can be excellent prospects for your charity, and can be added to your mailing list right away.
Visiting civic organizations, professional associations, and networking groups can also be a great way to build your mailing list. As you make new contacts through these resources, collect business cards and add those who are good prospects to your database.
Don't forget to add those who express an interest in getting involved with your charity. As new individuals contact your organisation, make sure you add them to your mailing database. When individuals register for events your charity sponsors, go ahead and add them to your prospect list. It's also a good idea to add your volunteers, vendors, and others who might have an interest in contributing to your organisation.
Clean Up Your Mailing List
Every time you launch a direct mail fundraiser, you're likely to receive some returned mail. When you receive returns due to bad addresses or expired forwarding orders, immediately notate the issues in your prospect database. Either find new addresses for the individuals or remove them from your list. This will keep you from having to pay to mail undeliverable addresses time and time again. Remember that money saved is just as important as money raised!
Following these three tips for how to build an effective fundraising prospect list can make a big difference in the results you enjoy from your company's fundraising mail campaigns. When you're always working on adding new people to your list, you'll reach new prospects every time you send out a new fundraising letter. Keeping your database clean will ensure that you don't miss out on opportunities to cultivate repeat donors without wasting time or money soliciting those who have moved away.