The direct mail, door drops and household deliveries showcase

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Welcome to the world’s best swipe file for direct mail packs!
Despite greatly exaggerated claims of its impending demise, direct mail remains by a long way the fundraiser’s preferred method of getting and keeping in touch with supporters, perhaps less than in the past for acquisition, but increasingly for donor relationship building and development.

Now with new regulations designed to put donors in control of their data there’s an emerging opportunity for fundraisers to put best-quality data management at the heart of donor communication strategies. Fundraisers’ legitimate interest to communicate with all supporters via direct mail seems set to ensure that this most potent of fundraising’s tools will be given renewed importance in coming years.

After all, who doesn't love to get a really great letter, bursting with impact and energy, telling with power and passion a gripping, moving story of how you can easily, effectively make a lasting difference to an issue you care deeply about? Wouldn't your heart soar to receive such a thing?

That's why direct mail works so well, for new donors as well as established friends.

In this special showcase SOFII readers will find literally hundreds of detailed examples of direct mail, showing what works and what doesn’t. Including SOFII Stars, highlighting some of the world’s best. Also look out for brilliant direct mail from 800 years ago. Plus Lisa Sargent’s thank-you letter clinics.  And don’t miss Jerry Huntsinger’s 55 special tutorials on how to make direct mail work for you.

You can find a list of all the case studies and articles on direct mail fundraising here.

How I wrote it: the NSPCC’s Simple pack

by Robbie Rae

When Robbie Rae started working as a fundraising copywriter at the turn of the millennium, he felt that true masters of direct mail had perfected the art in all its form. Despite that, he thought that it was time to change the orthodoxy. Click here to discover how he wrote a hugely successful pack that did just that.

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Let’s keep in touch

by Rachel Hunnybun

Does your organisation miss simple opportunities to talk to your donors? Click here to see what happened when Rachel Hunnybun contacted her favourite charities to tell them she had moved home.

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Humber River Hospital Foundation’s direct mail appeal featuring Humbert

by John Lepp

It's amazing how many capital campaigns bewilder donors with architect's drawings, graphs and complicated giving levels. Not so those brave people at Humber River Hospital Foundation, they turned their backs on stuffy institutional instincts and introduced Humbert – their storyteller supreme. Meet him here and see the fabulous appeals that achieved 33 per cent growth in giving in less than a year. Go on – take a risk!

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Save the Children’s capital appeal: buy a brick

by Richard Turner

This warm appeal from Save the Children beat its target by over £150,000 and acquisition approached break-even. Clinics were built and children’s lives saved.

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M​usings of a direct response fundraiser no. 2: finding the ‘sweet spot’

by Jonathon Grapsas

Our job as fundraisers is to find the sweet spot: an amount that is appropriate to that donor at that time. In his second article on the musings of a direct response fundraiser Jonathon Grapsas shows exactly how to do it.

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The Children’s Center, Detroit: ‘children should be seen and not hurt’ winter appeal

by Marie Burnett

How the Children's Center in Detroit turned dwindling finances and donations into a huge success through a seamless, integrated, multi-channel campaign. 

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NSPCC’s thank-you mailing

by SOFII

This bright, colourful direct mail pack is a winner all of itself. With the delightful, powerful booklet as well it couldn’t fail to inspire donors to send their own messages and, indeed, send in another donation to the cause they love.

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Musings of a direct response fundraiser no. 1: revisiting the basics

by Jonathon Grapsas

In this first article in a new series focusing on what you really need to know about direct marketing for fundraising, seasoned Australian fundraiser Jonathon Grapsas sets out some of the direct-mail basics. They might surprise you…

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Reader knowledge, real voices, great stories and big points of view

by Elizabeth Loudon

Writer Liz Loudon shares the difference between really writing to move donors, or just typing.

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CPAR: ‘plant a tree in Ethiopia’ mailing

by SOFII

Ethiopia has to be one of the most difficult fundraising markets in the world. Yet this pack produced results that most more sophisticated fundraisers can only dream of.

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