The day before President Obama made his first “foreign” visit to meet with Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper we received from the FLA Group in Ottawa their sixth annual poll of direct mail charitable giving behavior of Canadians.

The results of this Canadian survey closely parallel the findings of our DonorTrends 2008 survey conducted among U.S. donors.

Here’s the topline findings of the FLA Group’s poll. You can see the full report by clicking here.

  • One in three Canadian adults made contributions to nonprofits through the mail in 2008—unchanged from 2007.
  • For 2009 FLA Group estimates the gross value of charitable giving by direct mail in Canada will be $1.32 billion – 25% of all non-Church giving.
  • The trend in Canadian direct mail giving mirrors that in the U.S. in that the participation rate has declined by 1.2% a year since 2003.

As in the U.S., Canadians are giving to fewer charities through direct mail, but are now giving larger amounts to each charity they select. The reason, according to focus groups conducted by the FLA group, donors want to achieve greater impact with their gifts.

FLA Group’s Finding/Recommendations

  • Direct Mail is NOT dead. It remains the most popular method of charitable giving in Canada. [Editor’s note: same in the U.S.]
  • Donor loyalty is more important than ever as donors short-llst the organizations they give to.
  • Focus relentlessly on donor retention. FLA noes that loyalty guru Adrian Sargeant (in his book, Building Donor Loyalty) reports that a 10% increase in retention can double a group’s net income.
  • Double or triple efforts to secure the all-important second gift.
  • Leverage as many donors as possible to monthly, middle and bequest giving. In the words of Judith Nichols, ,American fundraiser and demographer … “go deep more than wide.”
  • Step up communicating with passion and emotion to your constituency.

We couldn’t agree more. FLA Group you deserve a raise!


This article was posted in: Direct mail, Donor retention / loyalty / commitment, DonorTrends / DonorVoice, Nonprofit management, Research.
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