Digital or Direct Mail? The Constant Battle for Fundraising Professionals

By Ségolène Rabel, Jr. Digital Marketing Strategist

Finding the balance between online and offline fundraising can be tricky. Do you invest completely in direct mail, which has proven revenue results but a limited audience and expensive costs? Spend your budget on the less-expensive online channels that have promise, but haven’t shown consistent results in fundraising? Or do you combine the two, and to what extent should you integrate messaging?

Well, there’s no universal solution for all organizations. The obvious path is to combine the two channels and fully integrate your direct mail appeals with online appeals, but how much you invest into each channel depends on your goals, budget, and resources you can tap into to manage them.

Here are some strengths and weakness of each channel to get you started.


Both channels have their strengths and weaknesses, but when they are combined they become a super campaign with integrated themes, targeted messaging, and unrelenting analytics. Check this out:

  • 35%1 of donors say they prefer to give online in response to direct mail.
  • 50% of Millennials (age 21-35) and Gen X (age 36-50) give online in response to direct mail.
  • 44% of people who receive a mailing go straight to the brand website.
  • Campaigns that combine both digital and print yield 25% higher responses than digital alone.


By combining the two channels, you benefit from all the strengths and overcome the weakness. Many of our clients choose to combine both digital and print to have a better impact and increase their overall annual revenue. We’ve seen that donors who give online and receive a direct mail piece are likely to increase their gift size and giving amount, some by almost 80%.


Looking to invest in a new fundraising channel, integrate your current channels, or upgrade your donors? Contact us out for quotes!


1 Source: UK Fundraising 2016

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