Andrew’s post from yesterday reminds me of my struggle with the fact that, when I donate once (or at regular intervals) to a non-profit, I get bombarded with direct mail appeals for a variety of other programs and/or donation vehicles.
There doesn’t appear to be any cost-benefit analysis on the vast amounts of direct mail to existing donors to determine whether the revenue earned was worth the costs incurred for design, printing, postage, and labor (there might be, but I don’t see it). Not to mention the environmental impact of using all of that paper, transportation, and the brand implications of constantly being in the donor’s face for money.
As a marketer, I know that direct mail averages about a 1% response rate. As a donor, all I see is a campaign that seems to be a giant waste of money, time, resources and the environment. I know you exist, I know you are there. I already believe in what you’re doing. That’s why I gave to you in the first place.
I would love to see a non-profit that discloses such things as a rainy-day fund, process improvements, waste reduction programs, or a contingency plan which shows that it is flexible enough to scale back should any financial crises arise. One that shows me, the donor, that the dollars I am giving are going farther than they previously did.