Direct Mail Still Strongest Prompt for Donations

Search the Website

January 10, 2014

According to the latest survey by global research company, YouGov, direct mail is still the strongest tactic for donations, aside from donating to a regularly supported charity. Social media is beginning to be a significant motivator for younger Americans.

The November 2013 survey of over 1,150 U.S adults, finds:


  • One-fifth (21%) of respondents cited direct mail solicitations as the prompt for their most recent gift.
  • Mail arriving in the home is particularly successful with those over age 55; 25% of those 55+ made their last gift in response to direct mail compared to 14% of 18-34 year olds.
  • Lower income households also respond strongly to direct mail with 29% of those earning $40k or less responding to direct mail for their last donation, compared to 18% of those earning $80k+.


  • More than one in 10 (12%) report being prompted for their last gift by something they heard about on the radio, on TV or in print. It seems a stronger prompt for men (14%) than women (10%).
  • One in 5 (21%) of those who have supported a crisis or disaster related charity in the last 12 months were motivated by mass media for their last charitable gift.
  • Lower income givers are also swayed with the media with 17% of their last gift being prompted by information they heard or saw in the media.


  • Although social media has yet to take off as a major prompt, with only 6% of adults responding to Facebook or Twitter for their last gift, social media has become a motivator for 18—34 year olds.
  • 11% of the younger demographic responded to social media for their last donation, compared to only 3% of those 55+.
  • Social media appears to have a higher response rate for low-income households (11%).


  • Email prompted10% of respondents to make their last gift.
  • Those over 55 (12%) are slightly more likely to respond to email than younger responders (9%).

About: Total sample size was 1,157 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken November 22-25, 2013. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all US adults (aged 18+).

SOURCE: YouGov, YouGov Giving Report 2013, December 12, 2013

SOURCE: Print in the Pix, The Cross-Media Innovation (CMIC) at RIT. “Direct Mial Still Strongest Prompt for Donations. Rochester Institute of Technology.

As marketers, we will never be able to replace the emotional connection of holding something in our hands. Email and social media are fantastic means of reaching your audience, but to truly connect with your audience, they need to hold your brand in their hands. Even though direct mail can stand alone, try cross-channel marketing to really boost your ROI.
[cmsmasters_row data_width=”fullwidth” data_top_style=”default” data_bot_style=”default” data_color=”default” data_padding_top=”0″ data_padding_bottom=”0″]
[/cmsmasters_row][cmsmasters_row data_classes=”bg-img-np” data_padding_bottom=”10″ data_padding_top=”10″ data_bg_color=”#cf212f” data_color=”second” data_bot_style=”default” data_top_style=”default” data_padding_right=”2″ data_padding_left=”3″ data_width=”fullwidth”][cmsmasters_heading type=”h1″ font_family=”Open+Sans:300,300italic,400,400italic,700,700italic” font_size=”28″ font_weight=”400″ font_style=”normal” text_align=”center” color=”#ffffff” margin_top=”0″ margin_bottom=”10″ animation_delay=”0″]Watch our free seminar, “How Direct Mail is Still the Best Choice for Your Nonprofit Fundraising Efforts” [/cmsmasters_heading][cmsmasters_text animation_delay=”0″]
Learn why direct mail is the most effective medium for fundraising, how to develop a direct mail plan, and the essential elements to include to ensure success.
[cmsmasters_button button_link=”” button_target=”self” button_text_align=”center” button_font_weight=”normal” button_font_style=”normal” button_border_style=”solid” button_bg_color=”#3b8dc1″ button_text_color=”#ffffff” button_border_color=”#518ff5″ button_bg_color_h=”#ffffff” button_text_color_h=”#518ff5″ button_border_color_h=”#518ff5″ animation_delay=”0″]View Here[/cmsmasters_button]
[/cmsmasters_text][/cmsmasters_row][cmsmasters_row][cmsmasters_column data_width=”1/1″][cmsmasters_divider width=”long” height=”0″ style=”solid” position=”center” margin_top=”20″ margin_bottom=”20″ animation_delay=”0″][cmsmasters_text]

How Can We Help?

Contact Info

8300 NE Underground Drive
Pillar 122
Kansas City, Missouri 64161

(816) 459-8404

Valuable resources about the people and industries we serve.