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Talking Points

Give them 5 reasons why going paperless doesn’t work – so it would be foolish to phase out print.

Point out that print is ideal for driving home a complex message and giving the reader the time and space to comprehend the information it holds.

Remind them that print comes from sustainable forests.


(click to enlarge)

Video courtesy of Rethink Canada, Vancouver, Canada.



Print is a powerful media and a vital part of the marketing mix for a wide variety of charitable organizations. Not only is print durable, portable and credible, it’s also warm, inviting and highly personalizable. This makes print ideal for delivering emotional and often in-depth messages that help recipients feel and see the difference that their donations can make.

After enduring some difficult years during the recent economic downturn, many non-profits are seeing an upswing in donations. Given the rise in popularity of online bill paying, it’s no surprise that online giving is up as well. People have gotten comfortable with the ease and safety of online payment systems. The 2013 Blackbaud Online Marketing Benchmark Study for Nonprofits™, which examined data for more than 500 non-profit organizations in the U.S. and Canada, showed that the median growth rate of online fundraising in 2012 versus 2011 was 11.6 percent.1

Many industries would like to experience a similar 15.8 percent increase in sales! This data, of course, raises an important question: What’s driving people to these charities’ online donation pages in the first place? In many cases the answer is direct mail.

According to a national study conducted by Campbell Rinker on behalf of Dunham+Company in April 2012,2 donors are more than three times more likely to give online in response to a direct mail appeal than in response to an emailed appeal. Interestingly, this engagement ratio was even higher in 2012 than it was in October 2010, when a previous edition of the study found that donors were two times more likely to give online in response to a direct mail appeal than from an emailed appeal. In addition 50 percent of donors surveyed in 2012 said when they receive a letter in the mail from a charity, they prefer to make their donations online. This was an increase from 2010, when just over one-third of donors gave the same response.

What does all this mean? It means that at a time when email marketers are having an increasingly difficult time getting their messages into recipients’ inboxes and read before they’re deleted as spam, print continues to capture people’s attention and motivate them to take action. Couple this with consumers’ increased comfort with online payment systems, and it’s easy to see how print drives online giving for charities nationwide.


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