Fundraising Alternatives Part 2: A focus on Direct Marketing

The second in a series of articles looking at different ways to fundraise. This month Deirdre Murphy, Fundraising Advice Officer at NICVA looks at Direct Marketing as an opportunity to raise funds.

So, what do we mean by Direct Marketing (DM)?

“Direct marketing” is defined in the Data Protection Act 1998 as the communication of advertising or marketing materials to particular individuals, and includes the sale of goods and services and the promotion of an organisation's aims and ideals.
There are three main ways you can communicate with donors or prospect donors in this way:

  1. By mail (direct mail)
  2. By telephone
  3. Digitally (emails, web, mobiles)

Direct Marketing – a technical term to describe what we already do?

We all use at least some of the principles of Direct Marketing and probably all of the time. Think of the last time you sent a thank you letter, or the telephone conversation you had asking for a business person to sponsor an event or your facebook post asking people to register for a fundraising event.

The trick is to co-ordinate these activities and plan ahead; thinking of your fundraising needs and how you can address these using DM.

Why use Direct Marketing Fundraising?

The beauty of DM is the ability for individuals to respond directly to you/your charity.  It will also help you to:

  • Ensure sustainability of your projects through one-off donations and asking for committed donations, for example direct debit and payroll giving.
  • Inform donors of your work and establish a long-standing relationship with them.
  • Increase the volume and value of donations in the long-term.

The key to making DM a success for you is building a database; record all the information you have on your donors on to a database and use this to get your DM programme up and running!

What Next?

If you have got to here and you want to find out more about what realistically Direct Marketing could do for you and your organisation, have a look at these websites:

Institute of Fundraising guidance on DM 
Direct Marketing Association DM Guide
Advice from NVCO on developing DM 
Some practical examples of using DM at UK Fundraising 

Or if you would like to have a chat, just call Deirdre Murphy, NICVA’s Fundraising Advice Officer on 028 9087 7777, email [email protected]

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