Charities in Britain are facing the double pressures of the cost-of-living crisis impacting donor numbers and values. November is usually the peak donation month and November 2022 saw 3.8m fewer donors than a typical pre-pandemic year. Now the Charities Aid Foundation say that not only have 10% of people decided not to make donations, but another 5% have already reduced their regular giving and another 19% are considering doing the same. (Source

But Charities suffer the same inflationary pressures as we do, so their need for donations is greater than ever. It’s little wonder that many Charities are looking around for new and cost-effective ways of reaching out to potential donors.

One perhaps surprising growth in fundraising activity isn’t in fact new at all. Direct Mail for donor acquisition fell off many charities’ schedules around the time of the GDPR implementation. Many charities were unclear whether they could use Legitimate Interests or even whether they are allowed to source third-party data at all. As a result, this lucrative and arguably once-over-used method of fundraising dropped off charities’ plans in favour of other channels such as DRTV.

In truth, the guidance is quite clear. Charities are allowed to rely on Legitimate Interests for direct marketing purposes, as long as certain conditions are met. And having completed an ICO audit to the regulators’ satisfaction, PDV is able to (and often does) help charities navigate through this activity.

One thing we learned during the pandemic is the power of Direct Mail for storytelling and holding people’s attention. It’s easy to scroll through your socials during a TV ad but not so much when you’re reading a letter. So, charities are beginning to return to the medium as an effective way to reach out to people, grab their attention and recruit new donors.

The pandemic also taught us all how to use QR codes. Many consumers now use them to navigate between physical and digital channels without a second thought. The use of QR codes as one of several calls to action is now almost standard practice in direct mail campaigns. It makes the journey online seamless and easy, improving response rates and reducing the cost of response handling.

Direct Mail has the power to grab attention and engage with human beings. This gives fundraisers the freedom to do what they do best which is to tell stories and grab the hearts and minds of people who want to support their cause. And with more sustainability options in print and distribution, there’s never been a better time to rediscover the channel.