How to Recession Proof Your Nonprofit



With the looming thought of a recession, nonprofits are at high risk of financial struggles. Now is the time to prepare and organize a robust strategy to make it through this challenging time. As donations and funding from government sources may decline, there will be an increased demand for services. According to The Chronicle of Philanthropy: In the first half of 2022, donor numbers fell by 7% compared to the first half of 2021. This is because there was a decline in the number of small gift donors between the months January to July. With a recession upon us, small gift donors are more likely to temporarily lapse. This makes it challenging for nonprofits to sustain their operations and continue to serve their beneficiaries effectively. However, with careful planning, effective communication, and good stewardship, nonprofit leaders can mitigate the effects of a recession. In this article, we will explore some strategies that can help your nonprofit weather the storm and emerge stronger in the long run.

Article Highlights:

How Will a Recession Affect Your Nonprofit?

Make a Plan

Be Transparent

Make stewardship a top priority


How Will a Recession Affect Your Nonprofit?

Recession affects internal and external aspects of your nonprofit. As individuals and businesses may have less disposable income, you will see a decline in donation amounts and experience lower retention rates. Government funding is likely to decrease due to budget cuts. There will be an Increased demand for services, as recessions often result in higher levels of poverty, unemployment, and other economic challenges, which can lead to an increased demand for services from nonprofit organizations. Nonprofits may need to stretch their resources to meet this increased demand. Your organization may find fundraising more difficult as raising more funds will be less successful especially when trying to attract new donors. This inevitably leads to damaging your reputation and more unfortunately affects your capacity to help the cause.

Make a plan

Make a Plan

Don’t wait until you start to feel the effects of recession, be prepared and start planning for a potential economic downturn. Start to build a safety net for your organization now. Anticipate any possible financial struggles and prepare beforehand to reduce its adverse effects. Rather than waiting, take action to improve your organization’s programs and initiatives. Schedule regular meetings with your development or membership team, even if they are brief, to brainstorm ideas for strengthening donor relationships and communication. These meetings can lead to effective plans that can make a significant difference. Take into account how this will change your future and create a long-term plan. Imagine the desired outcomes for your organization in the next five years. Record the milestones you wish to reach, the accomplishments you want to achieve, and the prerequisites necessary to accomplish them. Equally significant is to ensure that you convey your organization’s long-term vision to your donor base to sustain their support, even if they have changed their capacity to donate temporarily.


Be Transparent

Effective communication about the effect of recession is essential for nonprofit leaders, not only with lower-level management and staff but with all stakeholders, including the board, donors, and volunteers. It’s crucial to inform everyone about the organization’s financial situation and the plan to ensure its sustainability. By keeping everyone informed and involved, your nonprofit can benefit from the collective input and support of the entire team.

Be sure to communicate clearly and transparently with your community members to maintain trust, manage expectations, and keep their supporters engaged. It is important to highlight that now is the time that you need your donors more than ever and gently remind them that the economic turmoil is tough for everyone but even tougher for those in need. Explain that there is an ongoing need for support from their community members, highlighting the impact that donations and volunteerism can have during a difficult economic period. Communicate this information in an informative manner and provide specific details on how the recession affects your organization.

Provide your community with the assurance that you have a plan of action for the recession, and show them that these hard times are just a speed bump in an otherwise hopeful future. Avoid using language that is asking for “bailouts” or is seemingly a “cry for help”.

Affect nonprofit

Make stewardship a top priority 

This is the time to maintain relationships, by practicing good stewardship. Send your donors reminders that you value their relationship and you need their support. Amid a recession, donors tend to reduce the number of nonprofits they support financially. However, reaching out to them directly at this time may increase the likelihood of your organization becoming one of the nonprofits they continue to support in the long run. Therefore, it’s crucial to nurture and maintain a positive relationship with donors now to ensure their continued support in the future. By cultivating and stewarding donors today, you can improve the chances of retaining them as committed supporters. During periods of economic instability, there can be the mistake of directing a majority of resources towards gaining new donors, therefore neglecting current customer or donor base. Ensure that your recession plan aims to the retention of existing donors as that is more likely to see results in maintaining funding.


Your stewardship efforts should have these key priorities:

Showing gratitude by saying thank you by sending a handwritten thank you

Share impact and success stories

Stay in contact with donors

Acknowledge any hard decisions your organization has had to make

Maintain authenticity and transparency



Recessions can have an impact on both the internal and external aspects of nonprofit organizations. Donations and retention rates may decline, and government funding may decrease. Increased demand for services can stretch an organization’s resources. To prepare for a potential economic downturn, nonprofits need to start planning now and improve their programs and initiatives, including strengthening donor relationships and communication. Clear and transparent communication is essential to maintain trust with all stakeholders. Emphasize the ongoing need for support, highlighting the impact of donations and volunteerism during a difficult economic period. Maintaining relationships and practicing good stewardship is crucial to retaining donors, to ensure the retention of existing donors as a strategy to maintain funding.

Want to level up your direct mail? Contact us.

4 Tips to Increase Giving from Donors


Those working in the nonprofit sector understand the never ending need to keep donations coming in. Not only do you want a consistent flow of contributions, but preferably an increase. The purpose of this article is to provide you with 4 tips to increase donations. We will touch on the importance of implementing a donor segmentation system, how to communicate often, disclosing the impact of donations, and the benefit of asking!




There is statistical evidence that there has been an increase in giving over the past year. The National Philanthropic Trust shows data that in 2021, Americans donated $484.85 billion, corporations donated $21.08 billion, and foundations gave $90.88 billion. To review more “charitable giving statistics”, you can review this article by the NPT.




Donor segmentation is key to increasing donations because it allows you to keep information about your donors organized for you to use and form meaningful experiences and authentic communication between you and your donors. To build a donor database, you must use a CRM that includes features that support: list segmentation, measuring engagement, data analysis, and communication with donors. Check out this list of CRM softwares that are recommended for use by nonprofits.

There are a few categories that you want to segment your donor data: demographic, communication, donation track record, and interests. Using this information, you can send out campaigns that have personalized traits based on donor segmentation information. An example is sending out pre-filled donation asks or mailing a thank you letter that uses the donor’s name.

Donor segmentation increases donations and gets results!





We always say we’re going to stay in touch, but do we always follow through? Communicating with your patrons reminds them that they are a part of your organization. Life gets busy, and we forget about messaging that old friend or donating to an important cause, so don’t let your donors forget you exist!

There are many easy ways to communicate with your donors: posting on social media and sending out emails. Then there are the impactful ways to connect with donors by sending: personalized handwritten thank you letters, impact reports, and pledge cards accompanied by return envelopes. Always remember to include a way for your donors to stay in touch. This means including your organization’s contact information: address, phone number, email, and names of your communication team.




Being transparent about the allocation of donations is an assured way to increase giving. People appreciate honesty and authenticity. They want to see that their contributions to your organization are making an impact on the cause. Charts and facts have value and provide beneficial information to an impact report, and community testimonies are a way to show a deeper impact. Personal stories from volunteers, participants, and partners are great for highlighting impact and evoking emotions in donors.

Testimonies are a great way to get positive and structured feedback from those involved in your organization.


Here are a few questions you can ask when collecting testimonies:

  1. Why did you join our organization?
  2. How does being a part of our organization benefit you?
  3. What do you like about being a part of our organization?
  4. Do you see areas that need improvement? What are they?
  5. Are you happy with the progress our organization has made to the cause?
  6. Do you tell your friends and family about your involvement?
  7. Can we use your testimonials with attributions in our communications?

TIP: Highlight the impact of specific donation amounts




An effective strategy to increase donations is to simply…ask. Nonprofits are in the business of collecting donations, so it is to be expected by participants that they will be asked to give. There are ways to ask for donations that make it easier to donate.

Keeping in mind your donor segmentation system:

  1. Provide preset giving levels based on demographics
  2. Encourage automatic monthly donations
  3. Be transparent about popular giving amounts
  4. Mail out regular pledge cards accompanied by reply envelope
  5. Include a QR code that leads to a donation webpage on literature and correspondence as much as possible
  6. Show the specific impact potential of each ask amount in other words what each ask amount can be spent on



To wrap things up, we have discussed 4 ways to increase giving from donors. Primarily, you want to implement a donor segmentation system, and use donor data to create meaningful experiences with participants. Next you want to make sure you are communicating often via direct-mail, social media, email, etc. Within your communications, it is beneficial to be transparent about the impact of donations with facts and figures, but also provide community testimonies to show social proof. Ultimately, the most obvious but effective method of increasing donations is to simply ask!


Nonprofits value authenticity and personal connections. A great way to increase donations by creating authentic interactions is with handwritten notes!

Want to level up your direct mail? Contact us.

Donor Segmentation


Want to increase donor retention? Donor segmentation is the key!

In the first part of this article we will discuss donor segmentation and how it affects donor retention. Donor retention is key to a consistent incoming flow of donations. In the second part, we discuss collecting donor data and using a suitable CRM software to organize your donor database.



Donor segmentation is an organizational system that groups your donors into categories based on their information. This will help you create more meaningful experiences and authentic communication between you and your donors. This allows you to get to know your donors, and create streamlined interactions when it comes to informing them on ways to participate in your organization that are relevant to them.

Donor segmentation is important for personalizing your approach with donors. By keeping track of specific details of donors, you can build authentic communication systems that will increase the chances of them participating in your organization.



Donor segmentation increases donor retention, which is key to growing fundraising efforts. When you have the resources to maintain personal relationships with those affiliated with your organization, you will be able to continue to earn reliable revenue for your cause. Retention rates are on the lower side in the nonprofit sector. According to, on average, retention rates are at about 45% for nonprofits. For-profit businesses have average retention rates between 63% – 84% and can reach rates of 90% – 95% when they are actively making efforts to keep their retention rates high (Love, 2022).

Retention rates are already working against nonprofits. So it is vital to make all efforts possible to keep retention at a sustainable level. This is where donor segmentation comes into play, because it is making the most out of donor data, and ensuring you are getting donors to continue participating in your organization.

To get more information about donor retention, check out this article: Donor Retention: Structure Your Fundraising Operation for Success.



It is obvious to those that work in the nonprofit sector that donors respond to and continue to donate when they feel recognized and connected to your organization. Adding to your donor database is very important if you want to maintain those relationships and stay on top of personalizing your interactions with your patrons. The goal of a nonprofit development professional is to seek prospective donors and maintain relationships with existing donors. Sustaining a robust system of donor segmentation will help you do just that!

As your relationship with donors builds, you will start to collect more information that specifies your constituents motivations and interests with your organization. Using more details, you can develop a database that segments your donors.

What kind of donor data should you be keeping track of? There are various areas that you should collect information from to create segmentation:


  1. Name
  2. Age
  3. Gender
  4. Income
  5. Education


  1. Contact Information
  2. Preferred way of communication (direct mail, email, phone, social media, events)
  3. Communication Efforts leading to donation

Donation Track Record:

  1. Amount Donated
  2. Date of Donation
  3. Frequency of giving
  4. Type of donation
  5. How long have they been giving
  6. Reason for giving


  1. Why are you a part of this organization?
  2. Where would you like donation dollars to be spent?
  3. What action would you like to see from our organization?
  4. Events Attended
  5. Interest in giving



The most important part of collecting your donors information is keeping the data organized. The way to do this is by investing in a CRM (constituent relationship manager). Storing information about your donors in a centralized system will allow multiple members of your outreach developing team to access donor data to develop a deeper understanding of your constituents, and build authentic relationships.

In an article from “The Importance of Donor Data and How to Use It Effectively”, Adam Weinger recommends a CRM that supports these 4 areas: list segmentation, measuring engagement, report and analyze data, and communication with donors (Weinger, 2019).

List Segmentation:

Categorizing your donors by their specific details such as: age, gender, wealth, location, etc

Measuring Engagement:

Having the ability to store and review the history of engagement of your donors. Seeing how often they engage, when they are more likely to donate, what encourages their action within your organization.

Report and Analyze Data:

Keep track of successful methods of engagement with your donors.

Communication with Donors:

Being able to communicate directly with your donors for discussions of fundraising efforts.



Wrapping up, we discussed the importance of donor segmentation and how it increases donor retention. Then we went into more detail on the specific information your nonprofit should collect from your donors to build a comprehensive donor database in a proficient CRM software.



This is only the beginning to building a thorough donor database! Check out this article that goes more in-depth about Donor Database for Nonprofits.



Love, J. (2022). Donor Segmentation | Comprehensive Guide + Tips For Success   [web log]. Retrieved 2022, from

Weinger, A. (2019, April 30). The importance of donor data and how to use it effectively. Retrieved  2022, from


Want to level up your direct mail? Contact us.

Establishing your Nonprofit Brand: 3 Brand Design Fundamentals


Establishing your nonprofit brand can be intimidating, but let’s start with some basics! This article discusses 3 vital design aspects to consider when designing your nonprofit brand. You will learn about important design fundamentals: logos, colours, and typography. Having a preliminary understanding of brand design, will help you and your designer use your brand assets and establish a distinct and cohesive nonprofit brand. Legitimizing the look and feel of your brand will inevitably bring recognition and success.


First off, what is a logo? A logo is made of text, shapes, and colours that indicates the purpose of your organization. Your logo is a key part of your brand because it is going to appear on all things that pertain to your organization’s charity work. Your logo is also a symbol that volunteers and donors will remember and use to differentiate you from other nonprofits.

It is common to want everything but the kitchen sink in your logo design, but that is not realistic and frankly, it’s bad design. You want your logo to be: simplistic, memorable, scalable, readable, and distinct.

Take a look at a few of these nonprofit logos. They are displayed in black and white to show the impact and recognizability of a good logo design, even with no colour. In the next section, we will discuss colour.



If you want to see more examples of logos, check out this article that shows 75 Top Nonprofit Logos.


Your logo will appear in many places such as: websites, impact reports, banners, fundraising material, documents, presentations, merchandise, and more. It’s important that you keep the appropriate logo file formats for use in digital and print media.

Before you read the next part, if you are not already familiar with Raster(pixel) vs. Vector files, check out this quick read article that explains the difference between the two.


Here are 4 common logo file formats to know:

PNG – Portable Network Graphic

File extension: LOGO.png

  • Raster file – Pixel based format
  • Can be compressed and decompressed without losing quality
  • Supports transparency
  • Easy to read and access, can be opened on computer, mobile, and tablets
  • Use on: website, blog, as favicon(icon that shows up in browser tab), presentations, letterhead on documents, social media profile, as an image (e.g. watermark on document)


SVG – Scalable Vector Graphic

File extension: LOGO.svg

  • Vector file format
  • Can be scaled as big or small as needed, without losing any quality
  • Supports transparency
  • Small file size compared to PNG and JPG
  • Editable on design software like Adobe Illustrator
  • Web-friendly XML language
  • Use on: print media, shirts, merchandise, stickers, labels, etc
  • Should be used when sending your logo to a designer to make changes


EPS – Encapsulated PostScript

File extension: LOGO.eps

  • Vector file format
  • Can be scaled as big or small as needed, without losing any quality
  • Editable on design software like Adobe Illustrator and photoshop
  • Tricky to open in softwares other than Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop
  • Supports transparency
  • Use on: print media, shirts, merchandise, stickers, labels, etc
  • Can be used when sending your logo to a designer to make changes, but make sure to check with your designer or printer first


PDF – Portable Document Format

File extension: LOGO.pdf

  • Can be vector or pixel-based, it depends on how the PDF was created originally
  • Easy to read and share
  • Supports transparency
  • Format is consistent on every device
  • Use on: print media, shirts, merchandise, stickers, labels, etc
  • Only editable on Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop


It can be intimidating to grasp file formats, so here is a resource that goes more in depth into the 4 common logo file formats.



Colours are important to establish to maintain a cohesive look and feel for your nonprofit brand. It is important to keep in mind that a good brand has no more than 4 colours. When choosing your colours, you will want a light colour for backgrounds, dark colour for text, a neutral colour, and a contrasting colour. You don’t have to choose 4 colours, but you shouldn’t have more than that.

This is Google’s colour palette, it follows these rules.




There is meaning associated with colours. If you are not sure where to begin when choosing your colours you can think about what certain colours mean.


Green – Light shades represent growth, freshness, eco-friendly. Dark shades represent wealth, money, and cash.

Yellow – Happiness, positivity, and welcoming attitude.

Blue – Light shades represent stability, openness, flow. Dark shades represent trust, security, and comfort.Red – Passion, excitement, and energy.

Purple – Creativity, spirituality, luxury.

White – Peace, purity, calming nature.

Black – Bold, serious, authoritative, elegant.


Circling back to the logos shown in the last section, take a look at how colour enhances logos.


After you have chosen your colours, you must keep a record of the specific HEX code, RGB values, CMYK values and Pantone® (PMS). This can be an intimidating concept, but your graphic designer will know what these are. Each colour format is used for different purposes.


Pantone® (PMS) and CMYK are for printing purposes.

HEX and RGB are for digital purposes.


This is how each colour format is listed for the specific blue Google uses.

HEX code: #4285F4

RGB Values: (66, 133, 244)

CMYK Values: (71, 47, 0, 0)

Pantone®: 279 C

Here is a link that shows the rest of Google’s colour palette



Font selection is another beast when it comes to establishing your nonprofit brand. There are an endless number of fonts out there.

To make it simple, here are a few tips you can use to make the process easier:

  • Choose a font that is different from your logo
  • Only use a serif or sans serif font (Serif: Bodoni, Sans Serif: Helvetica)
  • Make sure it is readable and legible
  • Get a designer to help guide you through font choices


There are a few options for how you can obtain the rights to use a font. You can either buy a font or find a free font. It is crucial if you are downloading a free font that it is free for commercial use. There are a lot of instances where you can download a font for free but it is NOT for commercial use.

List of places to buy fonts:

List of free font downloads:

* *

NOTE: Google Fonts ( is the best when it comes to free fonts. They are all open source, high quality, easy to download, and can be embedded directly into your website.



This article covered 3 basic design fundamentals: logos, colour, and typography. It touched on what a logo is and the various aspects you should consider when figuring out its design. There was also information on logo file formats and when to use them. The colours section talked about how colour enhances a nonprofit brand design and how to specify your brand colours for digital and print use. Finally, this article ended on typography, what you need to consider when choosing your fonts and where you can find them.

Want to level up your direct mail? Contact us.

5 Reasons Why Handwritten Notes Are Powerful


Technology has become ubiquitous in our daily lives, with people sending hundreds of instant messages and corporate emails per day. PostGrid wrote an article titled “Direct Mail Statistics You Need to Know” and stated that, direct mail is a marketing channel that many marketers were hesitant to invest in, as they believed it would not yield the desired response rate. However, according to a study published in DMA Response Rate 2018, household mail had a significantly higher response rate at 9% compared to email, paid search, and social media, which were only at 1%. Digital communication is often devalued and quickly forgotten due to the overwhelming amount of messages that constantly flood our inboxes daily. Despite the world’s increasing paperless practices, there are still situations where a handwritten note can be more effective when communicating with donors or clients.


1. Handwritten Letters ​​are Intimate and Reflective

In this digital age, emails and texts have become the primary means of communication. They are quick and convenient, but often lack a personal touch. In contrast, a handwritten note conveys a sense of thoughtfulness and care that cannot be replicated by a digital message. When you take the time to put pen to paper, it shows that you value the recipient and the relationship you share. Whether it’s a thank-you note or a message of encouragement, a handwritten note can leave a lasting impression. While it may require more effort and resources, the appreciation received in return can be immeasurable. Next time you want to express your gratitude or show someone you care, consider putting your thoughts into a handwritten note.

2. You Can’t Delete Handwritten Notes

One of the biggest advantages of a handwritten message is its permanence. Unlike an email or text message that can be deleted, a handwritten message can be kept as a cherished memento for years to come. It is something tangible that the recipient can hold onto and remember the sender by. Handwritten messages are also more engaging and easier to read than electronic messages. With electronic messages, it is common to skim over the content quickly, whereas with a handwritten message, the recipient is more likely to read it thoroughly. Handwritten notes don’t get sent to spam, quite the opposite, they’re opened first.

A handwritten follow-up letter sets you apart from competitors who may only send a generic email and can make a huge impact on clients and donors. While it may take more effort to write a handwritten letter than to send a quick email, the personal and intimate touch of a handwritten message can have a greater impact. It shows that you are willing to go the extra mile to make a connection, which can help build a stronger relationship in the long run.

3. Handwritten Notes are Authentic

We have a multitude of digital options to convey our feelings and emotions, ranging from text messages, emails, to social media messages. While these options are convenient and instantaneous, they often lack the personal touch and sincerity that comes with a handwritten note. Handwritten pieces are a timeless way of expressing gratitude and appreciation that will never go out of style.

Digital messages can often come across as insincere or impersonal due to the sender’s ability to revise the message until it’s just right. This ability to edit can make them feel fake and inauthentic, as if they were written with the intention of pleasing the recipient rather than expressing genuine gratitude. Unlike digital messages, handwritten notes are a true representation of the writer’s genuine feelings and intentions. They are often written in one sitting, making them more authentic and heartfelt. The imperfections and mistakes in a handwritten letter only serve to enhance its authenticity and sincerity. Handwritten notes also have a longer-lasting impact compared to digital correspondence, as they can be cherished and kept as a memento for years to come.

4. Stamped Letters Stand Out

The art of handwriting has become somewhat lost. Opportunely, this has also made receiving a handwritten note all the more special. When people receive a piece of handwritten mail, they know that it was curateed with care and intention, which makes it all the more memorable. A hand-addressed letter is unlikely to be thrown away because the recipient assumes the sender took the time and care to write it. They also serve as a powerful reminder of the interaction that prompted the thank-you, like a donation or a sale, refreshing the recipient’s memory every time they receive one.

5. Handwritten Letters Showcases the Professionalism of your Organization

Handwritten notes have a charm that is unmatched by digital correspondence. In today’s world of emails and instant messages, a handwritten note can make a person stand out and convey a sense of thoughtfulness and consideration. The attention to detail and personal touch that goes into writing by hand is sure to impress the recipient and set you apart from the crowd.

A simple follow-up note or a thank-you note can make a significant impact. It shows that you value your clients’ time and effort and are grateful for their support. Moreover, a handwritten note can also enhance nonprofit stewardship efforts by showing donors that you appreciate their generosity and are committed to making a difference. It keeps them engaged and informed about your organization’s work, thereby encouraging them to continue supporting your cause.

Let Postalgia Write Your Notes For You!

With modern technology, it’s no longer necessary to spend your valuable time writing notes to achieve the same effect. Postalgia’s robots can produce handwritten pieces at scale for organizations of all sizes and budgets. You have the flexibility to customize your messages with your own preferred writing style, and convey your message exactly as you intended. We use ink on paper, as well as a design you provide or a design that you collaborate on with our design team, to ensure that your notes stand out and leave a lasting impression.

It’s as easy as:

Customizing your design
Choosing a handwriting style
Crafting your message

We take care of the rest! Our production team is fast and efficient, we print, write, fold, stamp, and mail out your campaigns. We handle everything for you, allowing you to focus on building your organization!


By taking just a few steps, you can make handwritten notes your competitive advantage. Handwritten direct mail has become a powerful tool for personal and thoughtful communication that can leave a lasting impression. Handwritten messages are more engaging, authentic, and tangible than digital messages. They also stand out and can make an organization look more professional. While it may take more effort to write a handwritten note than to send a quick email, the personal and intimate touch of a handwritten message can have a greater impact. In a world where convenience often trumps quality, incorporating more personal and thoughtful communication through handwritten notes can set you apart.

Want to level up your direct mail? Contact us.

How to Follow up with Volunteers


Acknowledging your volunteers is just as important as acknowledging your donors, and you can do that by sending out a follow up!

In this article we are going to be looking at why, how, and when to follow up with your volunteers. Volunteers are the powerhouse of the organization! Knowing how to send follow ups and how to make them effective is KEY. Sending out those follow ups as soon as you can will result in a good volunteer experience and increase the likelihood that volunteers will return for more work, and even become donors!




Following up with your volunteers is important because volunteers are what keeps your nonprofit organization going. Volunteers donate their time and effort for a cause as long as it provides them with the personal satisfaction of doing good for others as well as a positive network of individuals who all care deeply about the cause. It is not only courteous, but necessary to follow up with them to gain valuable feedback about their experience with your nonprofit and give them more opportunities to donate. Follow-ups help volunteers feel in the loop and keep them involved in the work.

Apart from helping with your nonprofit’s mission, volunteers also seek charity work to gain experiences, network, learn new skills, add to their resume, and more. Sending out follow ups to gain feedback is beneficial to your organization and to volunteers. You can then use that feedback to improve your programs and it will increase the likelihood of volunteer’s returning, sending referrals to your organization, and building relationships.

Once you have established good relationships with your volunteers, it could result in them turning into donors down the line!




Following up with your volunteers can be as easy as sending an email. The point is to maintain good communication. But it is a good idea to show effort in the way you follow up with them. The way to show effort can be evident in how you follow up and what you say in your follow up.


3 Points to Always Include in your Follow Up:

  1. Acknowledgment of Gratitude: saying thank you in a personal way

  2. Progress Made: letting them know how their efforts have helped the cause

  3. Include a Survey: to gain insight of their experience


Make sure when you follow up with your volunteers, it reflects that you spent time and effort in contacting them. Volunteers put their time and effort into helping your organization, so you should do the same! Handwritten and personalized notes are an excellent way to show volunteers that their contribution is valuable and recognized. You should make it easy for them to respond back to you by including your email, phone number, or social media information.




A good time to send a follow up is as soon as possible! Try to aim to get those follow ups out within one week of their experience. This is especially important when you want to gain feedback from your volunteers. This is because their experience will still be fresh in their mind. It will also add to their experience to get that extra thank you soon after they spent time volunteering. When you maintain good communication, it builds relationships. Strong relationships with your volunteers will turn into strong donor relationships! It is all about the long game!



To wrap things up, we covered why, how, and when to follow up with your volunteers. It is important because volunteers are essential to keeping operations running. A follow up can be sending an email to writing a letter, but remember to put in effort so that volunteers feel their work is being reciprocated. The sweet spot of sending out follow ups is within one week or as soon as possible.




Want to know how to increase your average donation amount? Here are 9 easy steps that will tell you just that!

Want to level up your direct mail? Contact us.

Donor Retention: Structure Your Fundraising Operation for Success

What requires more effort, acquiring new donors or retaining the existing ones? Most nonprofits are likely to answer that acquiring new donors requires significantly more work, but that doesn’t mean retaining donors is an easy task. Still, maintaining a high donor retention rate is absolutely crucial.

Nonprofits with a high donor retention rate have long-term supporters who come back year after year. Nonprofits with a low rate need to continually acquire new donors, ultimately costing them more time, money, and effort in the long run.

This article will discuss how to structure your fundraising operation for successful donor retention.


Challenges Nonprofits Face Today

Sadly, the outcome of neglecting your donor retention efforts is one that most nonprofits wouldn’t willingly face if they had the choice. If you don’t worry about it, there’s more at risk than you might have thought.

The rate at which donors are lost is referred to as the “attrition rate,” which can significantly impact the number of donors in your donor database from year to year.

The other red flag nonprofits need to be aware of is what happens when donors stop contributing. If donors stop giving, there is a very small chance they will ever give again.

Don’t overlook this concern. Instead, always assume that if a first-time donor didn’t contribute the second time around that, it’s highly unlikely they will come back because that’s what the data shows.


3 Elements of a Strong Donor Retention Strategy

You’ll be happy to know that building a donor retention strategy doesn’t require much investment, even relative to most nonprofits’ notoriously strict budgets. Here are three key elements to implement for building strong donor retention.


 1. Rely Heavily on Proven Data
Why is it important to have good data? Data helps you identify where to focus your efforts for the largest impact. Using data will also allow you to track your retention and attrition rates, ensuring your strategy is as effective as you are hoping it will be.
To become an effective donor manager, donor management software is integral to your nonprofit.


2. Put a Special Focus on First Time Donors 
It’s crucial to retain donors from the beginning of their relationship with your organization. Data shows that if they don’t contribute at the next opportunity after their first donation, statistically, they are not likely to donate again.
Knowing this information, it’s important to make a special effort to get the first-time donors to give a second time. Find creative ways that speak true to your nonprofit and its mission.


3. Choose Tactics You Can Execute Well On
There are hundreds of guides and lists of things you can do for donor retention. Try not to get lost in the shuffle of trying to tackle all of them at once. Instead, choose a select few and  execute those in a fashion that will stand out.

What you should NOT do is go through the motions so that you can check them off your list.

Some popular donor retention tactics include:

  • Thank donors quickly
  • Segment communications
  • Update on outcomes
  • Create a personal touch via phone calls and handwritten notes
  • Survey donors
  • Offer recurring gift options

Read our article on best practices for increasing donor loyalty HERE


The best ways to increase donor retention are linked to your nonprofit’s relationship with each donor. Getting to know your donors, what they like, and what you can do to maintain your relationship with them are critical components of donor retention.

Postalgia can help you focus on deepening your donor relationship by sending written thank you cards. The services Postalgia offers include design, copywriting, list hygiene, mail preparation, as well as the full suite of direct mail production services and much, much more!

Want to level up your direct mail? Contact us.

Authentic Communication with your Donors


The nonprofit sector is in the business of people-helping-people. What better motivates people-helping-people than being authentic!?

This blog contains vital information about maintaining authentic communication with your donors. The 3 main takeaways are: Be true and consistent, attend to your donors, and create personal experiences. Adding personalized and specific details to your communication methods will make all the difference.




All nonprofit organizations have a cause that they are passionate about. Before you communicate with your donors, you need to establish a set of values and beliefs that your organization follows. Make sure when you set up those values, you are being true to yourself and to your cause. To have authentic communication, you need to BE AUTHENTIC.

Once you identify your core principles, you must represent them in every message and any form of communication. You may not be popular with everyone, but at least you will be showing community members that you are true and consistent. The main point is to stick to your set of values and beliefs, but there are more Principles for Authentic Donor Communications that Build Relationships.



Make sure to put effort into focusing on your donors. Remember, without your donors you can’t support your cause! Maintain relationships with donors by consistently communicating and creating opportunities to connect with them.

There are various ways to stay connected with your donors and maintain authentic communication. You can schedule regular meetings in person or virtually to provide the opportunity to interact with them. This is the time to have discussions about your organization’s progress and get the opinion of the members. You can ask questions like: Why are you passionate about the cause? What is your preferred method of communication? How would you like to take action?

You can also connect with your donors by sending them information via digital and physical communication methods.



Social Media
Community Events
Impact Reports
Thank You Notes
Website Blog
Google Forms Questionnaire


The main focus should always be on your donors, so you can build authentic relationships.



To keep up with authentic communication, you can create personal experiences! How do you do that? Well, make sure to keep donor profiles and use their names when sending emails, newsletters, donation cards, impact reports, and postcards. It is also important to consistently send messages to donors and volunteers to let them know your organization is working hard for the cause.

A little bit of effort goes a long way, especially when you want to create personalized  experiences. Emails and text messages only go so far and are often overlooked, so it is important to seek other forms of communication. Sending handwritten note cards and direct-mail packages addressed to specific donors, tells your members that you value their support.



To summarize, figure out what your nonprofit is passionate about helping, stick to your values and beliefs, focus on including your donors, and organize personalized experiences that show your donors how much effort you put in.


Put the effort in and delight your donors with a handwritten note!

Want to level up your direct mail? Contact us.

Tips for Effective Storytelling for Nonprofits


Nonprofit storytelling is an essential skill to have to maintain a successful nonprofit organization. Storytelling informs your donors about how their donations are being spent and who their donations affect.

This article provides 4 essential tips to effective storytelling. You will learn how and why it is important to be intentional, how to evoke emotion and empathy, how to initiate connections, and the importance of saying thank you to your donors through storytelling.




Organization is key to effective storytelling. The first thing you want to do is create a plan for the story you want to tell. Begin by setting your goals on what you want to communicate with your audience. Next figure out the Who, What, Where, When, Why , and How of your story. Once you have a proper outline figured out, you will find it much easier to tell the story.

Be intentional about how much detail you share by keeping content short and attention grabbing. Try to only include important facts that are vital to the story. Good storytelling keeps the audience interested by finding a suitable balance between the story’s length, timing, and authentic content.





Keeping in mind that it is important to be intentional with the details you share, choose specific facts to build your story that will evoke emotion and empathy. Your aim is to help your donors feel personally connected to the cause, and you can do that by using the names and photos of those in your story. Videos are also a great tool in effective storytelling because it quickly visualizes and humanizes the story.

There are many ways to evoke emotion and empathy in storytelling, and this short article provides 4 examples of effective nonprofit storytelling.





A key element of effective nonprofit storytelling is initiating connections between the story and the audience. Once the story has been told and donors become emotionally invested, you can connect them even further by explaining how their donations impact the cause. Let your audience know specifically where donations go and how they are used.

This is where you can point out how change will happen and why it matters. To compliment your story, visual aids can be a helpful tool that highlight these facts. Many Nonprofits use infographics as an effective storytelling tool. Infographics can be displayed on a variety of mediums from social media platforms to printed media.





Don’t forget about gratitude! Always remember to appreciate your donors and say thank you. Acknowledging the efforts of your donors is another key element specific to effective nonprofit storytelling. A good thank you has the ability to seal the connection your story made and builds personal relationships with donors to increase donor loyalty.




To review, always begin with a plan where you organize your facts of Who, What, Where, When, Why, and How. It is important to be intentional in your storytelling to maintain the interest and attention of viewers. Evoke emotion and empathy by providing specific details about those in the story. Things like names, photos, and videos allow donors to see the story at a personal level. Create connections between the viewer and story by explaining how donations directly affect the cause. Infographics are a great tool to put a focus on this information. Perhaps the most important element of effective nonprofit storytelling is wrapping things up with a thank you. Acknowledgment goes a long way!



Consistency is key! Make sure to update your donors often about how their donations are impacting the cause. Monthly impact reports, newsletters, and handwritten notes are great tools that can be personalized and sent directly to your donors. Storytelling is only one way to Increase Donor Loyalty with our Best Practices.

Want to level up your direct mail? Contact us.

9 Steps to Increase Your Average Donation Amount

Fundraising is a year-round concern for nonprofit organizations that rely on donations and contributions to operate successfully.

Those tasked with this challenge must focus on multiple levels, expanding their list of contributors, turning them into repeat contributors, and finding ways to enlarge the contribution sum.

This article explores ten things nonprofits can do to increase donation amounts.

Challenges with Donation Amounts Today

Budgets indeed limit most donations, but there is always the possibility that you can increase donation amounts. While your supporters can’t be forced to give a certain amount, you’ll be amazed at how responsive they are to some tried and true tips and tricks.

When making future financial assessments based on donations, we review our performance from previous periods to establish a basis to work off of. However, we must always consider the possibility of dramatic changes, especially in times of economic instability.

Even if the previous year’s contributions from your donors met or even surpassed the amount required for your foundation’s operational costs, it does not mean that you can be confident that this next year will repeat the same numbers. Each contributor can be experiencing different situations, and in hard times, donations are the first to be reduced.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t work the other way around. In terms of looking at the correlation between one’s existing contributions and changes in their financial status, the general rule is that when a donor’s financial situation changes negatively, their contribution can be reduced. In contrast, at best, a positive change in a donor’s financial position will result in their contribution staying the same as in the previous period.


Top 10 Ways to Increase Donation Amounts

Keep in mind that looking to add new donors to your list is always a top priority, but that’s not the only way to boost your contributions. In looking to increase donation amounts, often, you must get creative.

A recurring donor is most likely to contribute a set amount over each period. But there should always be a strategy in place for deepening your relationship with your existing donors with a focus on increasing the recurring contribution amount.


9 steps to increasing the contribution amounts from your existing donors

1. Prioritize Repeat Donors

Change your mindset to increase donor loyalty instead of focusing your efforts on more donors. You want to view your relationship with donors as an opportunity to make a more significant impact in the long run rather than funds being the ultimate end goal.

Your donors will be more invested in the growth and success of your organization the more you have a two-way relationship with them.


2. Reach Out to Major Donors

Building a relationship with your donors after they make a gift is known as donor stewardship. Encouraging your donors to increase donation amounts is the main aim of stewarding your donors. Make donors feel loyal and increase future fundraising by creating a relationship with them.


3. Build a Dedicated Sustainer Program

Although you want to consciously thank all contributions to your cause, sustainer donors need to be thanked with a bit of extra care. To help maintain the momentum of your top supporters, create a donor loyalty program. Ideas for these types of programs might include:

●      Exclusive member-only newsletters

●      Special tickets to events

●      Branded gifts

●      Member-only events

●      Networking opportunities


4. Personalize Outreach Efforts

Having a one-on-one relationship with every donor is the ideal situation in the perfect world for an organization. Unfortunately, that’s not the most realistic expectation to have in most instances.

Still, you can begin tracking and measuring all of your interactions with donors to start personalizing your content as much as possible. Some critical information you should constantly be monitoring includes:

●      How new donors are driven to your organization

●      Motivating factors

●      Preferred communication channels

●      Donor demographics or segments


5. Establish a Sense of Urgency

Many donors might be under the impression that your cause isn’t going anywhere in the immediate future. That means they are in no rush to donate a large sum right away. Creating goals for the quarter, year, etc., develops a sense of urgency that helps put a timeline on some of your efforts for supporters who may be more incentivized to increase donation amounts.


6. Show Supporters Where Donations Go

Showing your supporters where their donations go is another powerful tool to increase donation amounts. Donors might be more motivated to raise more significant amounts when they can see the actual results of their contributions.

7. Ask For More Support

Another surefire way to increase donation amounts is by asking for more support. Consider interacting with donors face-to-face to help promote confidence in and amongst your organization. There are plenty of different ways to help build support in your organization. Some ideas might include:

●      Ask donors to join your team for a hike

●      Hosting an in-person event for supporters

●      Invite donors to tour your offices

●      Hosting a virtual event


8. Say ‘Thank You’

Any contributions your donor makes towards your cause should always be thanked. It doesn’t matter what the size of the donation is. Believe it or not, something as simple as a thank-you can make or break a relationship with a donor.

A great way to show donors that you appreciate them is by writing thank-you notes, while it can be challenging at times. Luckily, you can get the job done quickly and easily with the help of services like Postalgia.

Taking care of all details, including the address verification, postage, and mailing, Postalgia will pen your individualized donor thank you notes on your letterhead with high-quality card stock.

These days, a handwritten note is rare. Many of us have grown accustomed to receiving countless messages by email, social media, and text every day instead. Instantly stand out and create a unique and personal connection with the recipient by sending a handwritten thank-you card or letter.

Postalgia handwritten letters, notes, or cards to your stakeholders are written using genuine ink and penned by robots, although remarkably human. Postalgia will print and mail these personalized handwritten donor thank-you notes on your behalf for the ultimate convenience.


9. Create a Donor Database

More than simply donating money, remember that your donors can contribute to your efforts. Even if donors don’t have the funds to donate at this time, always have opportunities for your donors to get more involved with your organization. Through this, you can create a donor database that keeps them in the loop for opportunities that may arise in the future once they have the funds available again.



Personalizing the experience is the best way to increase donation amounts. Critical components of the donor-stewardship include getting to know your donors, what they like, and what you can do to maintain your relationship with them.

Of course, you can do more to help increase donation amounts. Follow these 10 steps to increase gift giving from your donors and jumpstart your fundraising efforts.

By producing beautifully handwritten personalized thank you letters to donors at scale, Postalgia can help you deliver that personalized touch by creating physical media such as newsletters and fundraising campaigns.


Get A Sample

Want to level up your direct mail? Contact us.