Online donations may be growing by leaps and bounds, but that doesn’t mean you should make your fundraising efforts solely online-based. In fact, as unlikely as it may seem, eliminating direct mail could have drastic results for your organization.

For example, when the American Cancer Society ended mailed acquisition in January 2013, they faced some serious trouble:

  • New donors dropped by 11%
  • New donor revenue dropped by $11.3 million in the first year
  • The five-year impact on income was $29.5 million
  • The ACS Relay for Life raised $25 million less than the previous year

They ended up restarting mail acquisition 18 months later, but the impact of quitting direct mail operations impacted them for several years.

If you’re unsure whether to continue your direct mail efforts, here are some stats that might help your decision:

People like to get mail

The truth is, many donors, especially older ones, still like to receive mail. How many? According to a recent study, 73% of consumers said that they still prefer mail for brand communications.

Mail leaves a more lasting impression

Print materials leave a bigger impact on the brain than digital. Even if the recipient only views a mail piece for 5 seconds, that’s still longer than the 1 second it takes to scroll past a Facebook ad or glance at your email.

Mail results in increased online donations

Ironically, mail also helps you get online donations. According to this recent study, it was actually more effective than emails when it came to initiating online giving ­–three times as much.

Mail draws big donors

Mail has been proved to be very effective in acquisition of large-gift donors. This study found that one out of every six $2500 and greater donors was found through mail, as well as a quarter of $1000-$2500 donors.

Basically, as long as Baby Boomers are alive, direct mail will be too. And who’s to say – it may continue to be popular with younger generations. Time will tell.