In the current edition of Mal Warwick Associates’ latest e-newsletter, Peter Schoewe kindly shares this analysis of year-end direct mail returns from the firm’s (and some other) clients. The results analyzed are from 1 October 2008 through 31 January 2009, compared to the same period a year earlier. And note: only direct mail returns are analyzed.

In sum:

"Overall, there was an 18% decrease in revenue through the mail this year-end, with 79% of the organizations experiencing a decline and 21% experiencing an increase. However, the greatest source of the decline was acquisition revenue, which fell 33%. House mailings saw a decrease of 15%. …

This year-end, we saw a 3.1% increase in revenue per piece mailed. This is a surprising result considering the extremely difficult economic climate, and reflects the switch in proportion of quantity from less productive acquisition mailings to net-revenue-generating appeals."

As Peter says, these results indicate that "the bottom did not fall out of direct mail fundraising in the year-end."

With many nonprofits indicating appreciable gains in online fundraising returns at year-end, we suspect that the total picture would reflect a decent chunk of that 18% decline in direct mail being offset by online returns … even if online returns were merely cannibalizing the mail channel and not reflecting "new" money.

How do your results compare? More sharing please!

Tom

 

 

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