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Hail the Mighty Postcard

by | Jan 23, 2023

When Used Thoughtfully, Postcards are a Nonprofit’s Best Friend

I love a postcard as part of an integrated campaign.

I’m not a fan of postcards as the main ask vehicle, but they are supreme for donor engagement on so many levels. The Audubon Society (I’m a donor) sent this out along with the many calendars, appeals, emails and texts I received during their 2022 Year-End Campaign. 

Here’s why I thought it was great and what other nonprofits can learn from it:

Stewardship

  • Stands out in my mail—oversized/super graphic

  • Quickly updates me with no nonsense copy; lets me know that my $$ is moving things forward

  • Thanks me for my role in said progress

I also love that they featured and credited the photograph from a contest winner (and likely donor) on the cover. Talk about stewardship—imagine how this person feels?!

Primes Me for Future Giving (the point of stewardship)

  • Arrived around year-end among the many asks and calendars I was receiving

  • Felt friendly and informal; the way you would correspond with someone you know well

  • This is what our brains are primed to expect from postcards for donors of “a certain age” and a certain giving level—a quick hit; brief info; not “serious” correspondence…KNOW YOUR PEOPLE

Follow the Big Ones

  • I heard this at the Bridge Conference eons ago and I’ve never stopped preaching it: Pay attention to what large, sophisticated nonprofits are doing

  • They have the money and teams to thoroughly test what they’re rolling out

  • If you see materials repeatedly from these organizations, it means it’s working—and it’s worth a try for yours if you’re considering it as part of your campaigns

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