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As both a parent and a 20-plus-year direct marketing professional in higher education, I understand the importance of sustaining our educational communities through fundraising campaigns. The landscape has changed since I began, but the use of data and direct mail has remained constant. Here is what I believe are some of the key drivers:

Direct mail has been a longstanding workhorse of the fundraising industry. That’s because direct mail works, and it is especially true for nonprofit organizations. In fact, one study cites that direct mail is three times more effective than email at garnering donations for nonprofits (Source: ProfitFusion.com, “Response Rate & Conversion”). Furthermore, research increasingly suggests consumers enjoy both the physical experience of mail and the technological enhancements digital media can provide.

Incorporating direct mail is just part of the picture; using good data is the other. In 2016, through feedback from our customers, Tension launched its Gift Lift™ program to help customers improve their donor and prospect data. Recently, we named BlueRidge Data, a leader in the data technology space, as our provider of this crucial step.

Gift Lift takes a customer-supplied donor list and then, with BlueRidge Data, appends important campaign information like mailing addresses, email, phone, and even employer data. This process levels up the donor list and improves the chances you can reach a donor through multiple mediums.

Demographic data like emails and company names are appended to a database of your existing donors. Then, this file is compared to a list of employers known to match employee gifts. As a result, you’ll receive a list of donors currently employed by companies that will match their charitable contributions, plus details on their matching gift program.

Once you have your list finalized, Tension can then handle the production, printing, and mailing of a direct mail appeal, which includes the matching gift forms of each respective donor’s employer along with a convenient return envelope. It’s a win-win for you and your donors.

Our school communities are filled with dedicated people who help prepare our children for the world, and they truly make a difference every single day. As direct mailers, we can lend them a hand. Together, let’s fully support our schools by working intelligently to raise the funds they need.

Want to learn more about Gift Lift? Contact us today to learn more about this program and how you can get started. 

A global leader in envelopes, printed products, packaging and packaging automation solutions, the Tension Corporation is a privately held and operated company based in Kansas City, Missouri. Tension manufactures billions of envelopes annually and their envelope and printed products division serves a variety of industries, including third-party billing, financial, insurance and direct marketing. The packaging and automation division of Tension provides software, consumables, automation and service and support for fulfillment to the e-commerce and pharmaceutical industries.