Why You Should Send a Letter Now


Here’s why you should probably be sending out an emergency appeal letter to your donor file:

This chart shows the percentage of revenue that’s coming in from different generations.

Direct mail appeals work very well at reaching the group of folks in blue on the right.

You know, the ones who (statistically speaking) have the most compassion and money to give you right now.

And you know, the people who your email and social probably aren’t reaching in significant numbers.

To any organization who is considering using direct mail for their coronavirus fundraising,


I can’t say that everyone should do it. But chances are, you should.

Here’s how to think about it to make a good decision for your organization:

  • If the coronavirus or the current situation is harming your beneficiaries, your cause, or your organization, then you should be fundraising now.
  • If you’ve sent out an emergency e-appeal and it raised more than a “normal” e-appeal raises…
  • If you’re able to convert your e-appeal into a direct mail appeal and get it in the mail quickly…

Then you should absolutely send out an “emergency direct mail appeal.”

Get it written (your e-appeal is your first draft – and maybe your final draft!) and send it as fast as you can.

Speed matters. If your donors are going to give emergency gifts to five organizations, you don’t want to be the 7th organization who asks them.

And if you can’t get a letter out to everyone quickly, then figure out how to get a letter out to your top donors in the next couple days. One tactic we see working: print out your e-appeal, handwrite a note on the top and send it to your major donors along with a generic reply card and envelope.

The Big Idea here is to use the mail to reach your major donors and the LARGE group of compassionate folks who would like to help but aren’t email responsive. Good luck out there. And we’ll be posting helpful tips every day for the foreseeable future.