Welcome to 2020 DM Benchmarks!

June 22, 2020

It’s here!

I’m super excited to finally share with you the 2020 Canadian Direct Mail Benchmarks Study. And you can download it – for free – right here.

(SOME OF) THE HIGHLIGHTS

  • Direct mail revenue is GROWING in Canada! Direct mail revenues grew in 2019 by more than 5% from the previous year. And average gift amounts jumped by nearly 7%.
  • Direct mail donors are loyal donors – you won’t believe the average renewal rate of 66.5%!
  • Charities with smaller direct mail programs will often enjoy the largest average gifts.
  • Investing in acquisition mailings can offset – and sometimes even reverse – a decline in your active donor file.

WHY DIRECT MAIL BENCHMARKS?

Have you ever calculated your program’s average gift, only to be left wondering how it stacks up against other charities in the country? Or perhaps you want to invest more in acquisition – but you’re not sure how much is too much?

Don’t get me wrong – we both know a fundraiser’s instincts are usually spot on. But sometimes, it’s nice to remove the guesswork!

So we decided to do all the heavy lifting for you. We collected the data and we crunched the numbers – and we ended up with a really awesome snapshot of direct mail performance in Canada.

WHAT’S INSIDE

We gave a lot of thought to the type of information that direct mail fundraisers need to evaluate, monitor (and perhaps tweak) their annual program. The data we collected allowed us to calculate eight benchmarks for the following key metrics:

  • Response rate: House mailings
  • Response rate: Acquisition mailings
  • Response rate: Overall direct mail program (That is, Acquisition and House combined)
  • Average Gift: House program
  • Average Gift: Acquisition program
  • Average cost to acquire a first-time donor
  • Gift frequency (Average number of gifts per donor per year)
  • Renewal rate

We plan to keep measuring these metrics year over year and report back to you on how they’re changing the sector, and shaping the direct mail channel in Canada.

THE DATA

We had 52 incredible Canadian organizations contribute their 2019 data for this report. Together, these charities represent all sectors of the field, and their direct mail programs range widely in size and annual revenue totals. Some of these organizations have been doing direct mail for years – while others just got started.

Altogether, these organizations received nearly 500,000 direct mail gifts from more than 300,000 donors and generated more than $40 million in 2019.

I know you’re dying for more information, so check out my webinar on the subject.

And if you haven’t already, download the report today.

We hope you find it as useful as we do. And if you have questions – or want to put your hand up to participate next year – email me.

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Melanie Scholz

Melanie Scholz

Twin mom. Boy mom. Eats supper standing up. Fan of Jillian Michaels and HGTV. Lover of charcuterie, white wine and apocalypse-type movies.