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Response rates to donor direct mail have remained steady since 2013, while donation amounts have risen slightly, according to Swissfundraising.
Swissfundraising has revealed a number of key findings and trends from its Direct Mail Panel from the past seven years. The Panel allows fundraisers to upload their own direct mail activity data and benchmark their results against those of other users. Users are able to observe which months of the year and which regions of the country perform the strongest, and how response rates and average donation amounts have changed over the last seven years.
Through analysing the data submitted to the Panel since 2009, Swiss Fundraising has revealed that while response rates of letters to current donors declined from 11% in 2009 to approximately 9% last year, this current figure has remained almost the same since 2013. Response rates to acquisition campaigns also remain fairly steady, falling slightly from 2.4% to 2.2%. Response rates to unaddressed mail have also remained steady at around 0.6%.
Average donation amounts have risen slightly since 2009; up from 53 to 58 Franks (47.8 to 52.3 Euros) for current donors. However, this changes year by year rising from 35 to 45 Franks (31.6 to 40.6 Euros) for new donors responding direct mail and from 55 to 60 Franks (49.6 to 54.1 Euros) for donors responding to unaddressed mail.
The Panel data also reveals a trend in the acquisition of new donors with an increasing number of campaigns using unaddressed mail, and a declining use of direct mail. Two companies have risen to dominate the list broking industry, while a number of others have seen a decline in the number of lists they have sold since 2009.
Finally, in terms of direct mail activity throughout the calendar year, the data shows significant differences in the number of campaigns printed each month. July, for example, sees fewer campaigns sent out with a corresponding increase in response that is higher than other time of the year except the Christmas period. November is by far the busiest month of the year for campaigns.