This guest blog post exploring the power and effectiveness of mail for charities has been written by Ryan Higginson, Vice President & UK/ROI Country Leader, Sending Technology Solutions, Pitney Bowes.
Charities have reached a tipping point. 75% anticipate higher demand for their services in 2021, but 83% forecast a decline in their income. The impact of cancelled events and fundraisers is intensified by donors’ own economic uncertainty. In 2019, the London Marathon raised a record-breaking £66.4m for charity. In 2020, this was down 75% to £16m as the official race was postponed. Charities reliant on cash donations are also hugely impacted, not only because face-to-face events were cancelled but also because we’re fast becoming a contactless, cash-free society.
It’s no surprise that the Charities Aid Foundation found 42% of charities they spoke to said they were worried about having to reduce the services they offered, and consultancy Pro Bono Economics identified a £10 billion funding gap between income and investiture.
At the same time – and offering some hope – UK citizens’ philanthropic nature seems stronger than ever. The amount raised by Captain Sir Tom Moore for the NHS in 2020 totalled £32.7 million – a record-breaking amount for an individual walk. Almost half the survey respondents in a Charities Aid Foundation/ YouGov survey felt that the pandemic had made them more conscious of people in need in their local communities. In the first six months of 2020, individual giving was £800m higher than the same period in 2019. With the removal of most face-to-face opportunities for donations, not-for-profit organisations are turning to traditional channels to generate funding. Printed mail is driving action, and research shows that – perhaps because it stands out above digital noise - it’s proving more popular than ever before with younger audiences.
Four out of five fundraisers have cited mail as a key part of their fundraising programme, according to the Chartered Institute of Fundraising. Here are eight reasons why mail is proving an invaluable channel for fundraisers in 2021.
40% of respondents in a 2020 study cited by Royal Mail MarketReach agree or strongly agree that being in lockdown made them realise how important mail is to them. 88% reported paying as much or more attention to mail. With more people than ever working from home, the arrival of mail each working day can be a welcome distraction.
Maintaining a sensitive message and hitting the right tone has never been as important as it is now. No organisation wants to ostracise itself from communities or individuals. Being mindful of – and sensitive to – each unique different circumstance is critical. A personalised, printed mailing ensures messages are carefully crafted and considered, communicated with gravitas and sincerity.