Direct Mail for Small Nonprofits

This Session is SOLD OUT. We will hold another session later in the year. If you would like to be notified when we open registration for the next session, please fill out the form below:

Limited to 24 Small Nonprofits Who Want to Write Better Direct Mail Appeal Letters

If you could raise $20,000, would you be happy?

Many big nonprofits would be disgusted with that kind of return. They are mailing millions of direct mail pieces to lists with hundreds of thousands of names each year. $20,000 wouldn’t cover the postage. But most of the small, local nonprofits we know would be thrilled with those kinds of results. With the right appeal, small, local nonprofits, mailing mere hundreds or thousands of pieces, can raise tens of thousands of dollars through direct mail. Direct mail appeals from local nonprofits, done right, can work wonders. Smaller nonprofits can use direct mail to acquire new donors, to attract repeat gifts, and to promote bequests and monthly giving. Yet local charities often find their direct mail results deeply disappointing.  What are they doing wrong? During the e-clinic, expert direct mail copywriter Tom Ahern will share his secrets for direct mail appeals that work, even for local nonprofits with relatively small mailing lists.

TomAhern100Meet Tom Ahern

Tom Ahern is often described as “one of the world’s leading authorities” on how to speak properly — and profitably — to donors. He’s authored four well-received how-to books on donor communications, and delivers dozens of workshops internationally on the techniques of successful fundraising communications. A constant practitioner, Tom writes fundraising materials for some of America’s leading nonprofits, constantly honing his specialties of donor newsletters, direct mail, and case statements.

“The metrics we’re getting with local direct mail are way better in some cases than national campaigns achieve. So while the nationals might sniff at a $20,000 return net, they would drool over the locals’ response rates and average gift sizes.”  ~ Tom Ahern


Meet Kivi Leroux Miller

Kivi Leroux Miller is president of  Nonprofit Marketing and the author of “The Nonprofit Marketing Guide: High-Impact, Low-Cost Ways to Build Support for Your Good Cause.”   Through training, coaching and consulting, she helps small nonprofits and communications departments of one make a big impression with smart, savvy marketing and communications. She writes the #1 nonprofit communications blog on the web and teaches nearly every week via webinars and in-person workshops.

What’s Included in the E-Clinic

The e-clinic includes over five hours of training and personal coaching via webinars with Tom Ahern and Kivi Leroux Miller where you will learn how to write a great fundraising letter for your small nonprofit.  Every session will be recorded in case you can’t make a session live, or want to go back over certain sections. ** Please note that these webinars will NOT appear on our regular schedule. The only way to attend is to register for this e-clinic. **

Expert Training: Two Webinars

How They Did It: Direct Mail Success Stories from Small Nonprofits Tom will share case studies where small or local nonprofits used direct mail to attract shockingly wonderful amounts of philanthropy, emphasizing best practices along the way. (Live presentation via webinar on Tuesday, February 18th, at 1:00-2:00 p.m. Eastern; recording available 24 hours later) Created for Small NonprofitsHow You Can Do It, Too: Writing Your Annual Appeal Letter Tom will show you how direct mail really works (physically and emotionally), how to set achievable expectations, and how to write an appeal that engages the reader. (Live presentation via webinar on Thursday, February 20th, at 1:00-2:00 p.m. Eastern; recording available 24 hours later)

Expert Advice: Four Coaching Sessions

Based on your schedule, you’ll be assigned to one of four coaching webinars (February24th, or 27th at 3:00 p.m. Eastern; February 25th or 26th at 1:00 p.m. Eastern). Prior to your assigned webinar, you’ll have the opportunity to submit your draft appeal letter to Tom for his personal review.  During the coaching webinars, Tom will talk participants through what he thinks is working well in the letter, and where he suggests you make some changes.  You’ll get direct feedback on your writing that you can use to make your appeal letter even stronger. You are also invited to listen in on the other three coaching sessions, where you’ll pick up tons of tips as you watch Tom provide feedback to others. All four sessions will be recorded, in case you want to review them later.

Group Discussion and Sharing

You’ll also be invited to participate in a private Facebook group where you’ll get additional bonus materials from Tom and Kivi, while discussing your direct mail questions with Tom, Kivi, and the other participants.

BONUS #1: Turning Your Direct Mail Letter into an Integrated Campaign

Tom and Kivi will show you how to take your direct mail letter and draft email messages that go out before and after the direct mail piece, to increase both online and offline giving in an integrated campaign.

BONUS #2: Repurposing Your Letter into Social Media

You’ll also learn how you can repurpose the hard work you’ve done on your direct mail letter into Facebook and Twitter updates.

This E-Clinic is Right for You if . . .

You are willing to try the proven approaches we’ll share , even if they feel new or “too creative” to you. You believe that anyone can be a good (even great!) direct mail writer with enough guidance and practice at the craft. You have a direct mail list of at least 300 names, but not 30,000.  This webinar is for small nonprofits! You write your own direct mail appeal. You understand that by investing in your direct mail program now with your registration fee, your odds of raising significantly more money with this year’s direct mail appeal go up. Please Don’t Register for This E-Clinic if . . . You think direct mail is dead. (Sure, it’s not performing as well as it once did, but it’s still an incredibly powerful fundraising channel for most nonprofits — when done right.) You have significant problems with English grammar, spelling, punctuation, etc. (This is not a remedial writing course, but a specialized writing clinic for nonprofit communications and fundraising professionals.) You aren’t prepared to invest at least eight hours into the e-clinic.  (We aren’t working miracles here. You have to put in the time if you want the results. The training and coaching webinars are five hours, and you’ll need to put in at least another three drafting your own letter — not to mention participating in the discussion group.) You are expecting form letters you can cut and paste. (While we’ll share great examples, this isn’t about giving you something to plagiarize.) You outsource your direct mail appeal.

What Development Staff at Small Nonprofits Said After Participating in This E-Clinic . . .

“This e-clinic is a great opportunity for hands-on, small group coaching and discussion. The best part was the direct feedback from Tom on my letter. I also loved the Facebook group – it’s been helpful to hear about other folks’ struggles and successes. Thanks! It was great!” ~ Kirsten Olson, Children & Families First “This was an amazing program that will result in the best direct mail your organization has ever sent out. I loved all the examples, and the science behind everything like the eye motion studies and the stats.” ~ Amber Woffindin, Make-A-Wish, Northern Alberta “A very valuable resource that I will refer back to many times. Loved hearing the reviews of the letters and seeing the various ideas. Tom provided so much information in a short period of time. Worth every penny!” “For the first time I am ALLOWED to mail a 2-page letter, use one-sentence paragraphs, and write more conversationally! Yes! Kivi and Tom opened the door in our development office!” “Kivi and Tom are energetic and extremely helpful. I could feel that they wanted everyone to get as much information as possible and to understand it.  You’ll actually leave with a workable document and a plan. Very helpful to small nonprofits with small budgets.” “Thanks for the practical insights and examples of fundraising letters that work. I was actually jazzed to work on our letter!” “I wanted to post a thank you to Tom & Kivi for the great webinar. Our direct mail piece did awesome! We spent about $1,900 on the whole campaign and we brought in about $9,500. This was our first direct mail piece with a database of donors with little to no history to it…thank you for offering this workshop for small nonprofits like ours.” ~ Kim Castanenda – Executive Director, Foster a Dream “Thank you so much, Tom and Kivi, for this workshop. I learned so much about the mechanics and keys that make successful direct mail letters. I am so pleased to have created a “perfect-ish” letter, (as Tom called it) thanks to your instruction. This is exactly the information I needed and it gave me so much confidence. The opportunity to be coached on your own writing is priceless. The bonus material is icing on the cake.” ~ Lynda LeVan, Creative Discovery Museum “Kivi and Tom, you are my heroes. You make writing direct mail so easy to understand. Thanks so much for showing us how to improve our annual letter. I’m so excited and don’t feel as stressed because I’ve got evidence on my side. Signing up for the e-clinic was just the best of the best. Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge and experience. Looking forward to good things — thanks to you both.” ~ Andra Atteberry, Bella Vista Library “To improve your direct mail results, this is a must!!” ~ Linda Tantawi, CJ Foundation for SIDS

Ready to Write Your Next Direct Mail Appeal with Confidence?

Reserving your spot in the e-clinic is easy. Simply register and pay your fee ($449 USD). We’ll immediately send you an email with instructions for your next steps. As with everything we do, your registration comes with a full money-back guarantee. If after attending the e-clinic, you decide it wasn’t worth the money, simply request a refund within 30 days and we’ll process it right away.

We Have Room for Only 24 Nonprofits . . .

Because each participant will get personal attention from Tom and Kivi, we must limit this e-clinic to only 24 participants. We expect it to fill up quickly, so register now to reserve your spot.