The direct mail, door drops and household deliveries showcase

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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 the best of the best from around the world. Also look out for brilliant direct mail from 800 years ago. And don't miss Jerry Huntsinger’s 55 special tutorials on how to make direct mail work for you.

Ocean Conservancy: membership drive

A colourful pack with a neat underlying idea.

by SOFII

In fundraising via direct mail, attempts to better a control pack (also known as beating the banker pack) are always interesting and usually instructive. This pack from Ocean Conservancy exemplifies much of dm fundraising best practice.

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Deerfield Academy: Bruce Barton’s fundraising letters from 1951, letter 15

by SOFII

With all the usual captivation and craftsmanship of a classic Bruce Barton letter, this provides a very valuable lesson in donor care from 60 years ago that is just as relevant today.

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McPherson Associates/ WPBT2: the ‘surprise us’ tick box

by SOFII

'Like a lot of so-called best practices, many of our gift strategies date back to a day when the hot new technology was faxing and “my space" was where you parked'. What happened when McPherson Associates changed the paradigm and let the donors choose.

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University of Oxford: legacy brochure

Bright, colourful, optimistic, helpful. Oxford University’s brochure is designed to look good and be very functional

by SOFII

The dream inspires. A classic legacy promotion brochure with multiple enclosures shows you how it’s done. By providing an inspiring vision in the main document as well as individualised content in the template insert, this brochure has the ability to be as broad or as narrow as required.

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University of South Carolina: ‘We are South Carolina Y’ALL’ (Young Alumni Leaving a Legacy)

Front of the postcard

by SOFII

Innovative and engaging alumni fundraising from USC shows the education sector how it should be done.

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Deerfield Academy: Bruce Barton’s fundraising letters from the turn of the 1950s, letters 12, 13 and 14

by SOFII

It's a delight now to add letters 12, 13 and 14 to this growing SOFII series featuring legendary writer Bruce Barton's brilliantly conversational direct mail letters for Deerfield Academy.

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Lake Simcoe Conservation Foundation: 2008 progress report

Lake Simcoe Conservation Foundation’s progress report

by SOFII

From this one low-cost publication donors can clearly see what their donations have achieved. When presenting this progress report in person to one of our major donors, he said: ‘I wish some of the other organisations I am involved with would produce this kind of stuff.’

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Deerfield Academy: Bruce Barton’s fundraising letters for letters 9, 10 and 11, from 1948 and 1949

by SOFII

Reporting back, storytelling and irresistible offers – more fundraising gems from Bruce Barton.

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Deerfield Academy: Bruce Barton’s fundraising letters from 1946/47, letters 6, 7 and 8

by SOFII

Featured here are letters six, seven and eight from the 21 letters in this SOFII series, three more fine examples of the fundraising letter-writer's art from an age gone by.

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Deerfield Academy: Bruce Barton’s fundraising letters from 1945, letters 3, 4 and 5

by SOFII

These letters are masterful examples of wrapping up serious information in easy conversational style. Find letters three, four and five here.

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