Is off-line communication all in the past?

April 12, 2013

scrollWith all of the focus on digital marketing and fundraising, sometimes we wonder if the days of the paper newsletter, direct mail piece and annual report are over.

They are not over.

Understanding that your donors are distinct individuals with different communication preferences will help you harvest more from your marketing efforts and understand whether a print piece, digital outreach–or both–are appropriate. There is no “blanket” answer.

The catch phrase of the last year or two has been “multi-channel” approach, and it works.

When you touch base with your donors to ask them about their preferences, you let them know their time and individuality are valued.

Many of us need to receive messages in a variety of ways before they register.

I have to confess: although I love social media and use it voraciously to stay up to date with nonprofits, friends and family, I really appreciate the occasional print piece sent to me in the mail. I get most of my news online but I really like the Sunday newspaper sent to my house. (And I love a magazine every now and then.)

Direct mail, when compelling and appropriate, remains a very effective fundraising tool.

We frequently get the tri-fold question. Are brochures “old-school?” Are they still worth the effort? Like any communication piece, it depends.

We found a wonderful post on Wild Woman Fundraising, “Are Brochures Still Relevant for Fundraising?”

It shares links to effective print pieces that provide alternatives to the standard tri-fold.

Your one-on-one relationships with donors will almost always be the most effective outreach you can imagine. When enhanced with well-integrated and well-timed communication pieces, your relationships will grow stronger.

Have a great weekend!


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