Direct Mail Cost Guidelines

 

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Published March 13, 2013

DIRECT MAIL COST GUIDELINES

I was asked the other day by a client what you should expect to spend on direct mail compared to other forms of fundraising.

I went to a file I call, “Good Stuff.” (You ought to keep a file like that for all the bits and pieces you want to save but don’t know exactly where to file them!)
 
I found the guidelines I had been looking for. Obviously, the cost will depend on your particular situation and the effectiveness of your fundraising. These ratios may not get you within inches- but they do provide a good yardstick.
 
Keep in mind, also, that when you are trying to acquire new donors through acquisition in your direct mail, the first year can cost you more than you actually raise.

The pay-off, however, is in the following year. Your job is to renew as many of those donors as you possibly can. If you do an effective job of this, the return will be exceedingly good.

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Reasonable Fundraising Cost Guidelines

 

Fundraising Method

Generally Accepted

Guidelines Per $1.00 Raised

Direct Mail Acquisition

$1.00 to $1.50

Direct Mail Renewal

$0.20

Special Events

$0.50

Volunteer Led Annual Giving

$0.10 to $0.20

Individual Major Gift Program

$0.10 to $0.20

Foundations

$0.20

Capital Campaigns

$0.10

Planned Giving

$0.20 to $0.30

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Share your comments with your colleages below. — JPanas



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