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Nonprofit Direct Marketing Statistics: Response Rates & Personalization Insights

Personalized fundraising is the key to success. Here are some statistics highlighting direct mail and its role in the omnichannel fundraising strategy.

General Statistics

  1. Direct mail response rate to house files is 9% (compared to 1% email, 1% paid search, .3% online display, 1% social media).
  2. On average, Americans receive 605 emails and 16.8 pieces of mail every week.
  3. For every 36 emails you receive on average, you get 1 piece of mail in your mailbox.
  4. The average lifespan of an email is 17 seconds whereas direct mail’s average lifespan is 17 days.

Personalization Statistics

“No word in the English language is more important than our own name.” -Unknown

  1. Adding a name to your direct mail piece can increase response rates by 135%.
  2. 60% of donors value a personalized experience when interacting with nonprofits, but only 44 percent are satisfied with the level of personalization they currently receive.
  3. 59% of survey respondents said would give up to 10 percent more for a more personalized experience; 25% would donate up to 25% more; and 8% said they would donate up to 50% more.
  4. Individuals who are given a variable ask amount based upon their previous gift are 20-50% more likely to renew at the same level or increase their gift.


1: ANA | DMA Response Rate Report, 2018

2-3: Small Biz Genius and USPS OIG

4: RetailWire

5: Canon Solutions America

6: Philanthropy Journal

7: Accenture Consulting

8: Misc. sources