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Building Direct Mail Program

Building Direct Mail Program

In Building Your Program – published in the Excellence in Fund Raising Workbook Series – Gwyneth J. Lister provides the tools to make direct mail programmes as effective and efficient as possible. With material tailored for volunteers and professionals who have little or no experience with direct mail, the author walks readers step-by-step through the process of creating a strong direct mail programme.

Direct mail is the lifeblood of any organisation’s fundraising programme, providing steady income for the annual fund, helping to acquire new donors, creating opportunities to communicate with current donors, and providing valuable information about both donors and prospects. But it is also a highly personal fund raising vehicle-a one-on-one relationship that is developed, nurtured, and maintained.

The book includes nuts-and-bolts information on the basics, from deciding who should receive the direct mail package and working with list brokers to creating and budgeting the package and evaluating the results.

Lister also offers specific tips and strategies for all phases of the direct mail process, including guidelines for projecting mailing costs, advice on determining when it is most effective to use a direct mail campaign, suggestions for testing direct mail packages, and more. In addition, the book is filled with a wealth of handy worksheets, checklists, and tips for avoiding the most common pitfalls.

Nonprofit fundraisers, professionals, consultants, and managers will find Building Your Direct Mail Program a valuable guide to developing one of the key fundraising tools of any organisation – a successful direct mail programme.


Gwyneth J. Lister, CFRE, is an adjunct faculty member of the University of San Francisco’s College of Professional Studies and Indiana University’s Fund Raising School.

She has worked in the nonprofit field for more than twenty-five years as a development director and executive director, and, since 1987, as director of her consulting firm Accelerated Income Methods (AIM). Lister is a past recipient of the “Outstanding Fundraising Executive Award” from the National Society of Fund Raising Executives Golden Gate Chapter.


“Following the steps in this workbook will enable you to use direct mail effectively in building a broad base of donors. Lister′s long and varied experience will help novice and experienced professionals alike.”
Kim Klein, publisher, Grassroots Fundraising Journal

“When I started volunteering more than twenty–five years ago, I had very few resources to help me be a successful direct mail fund raiser. If I had Building Your Direct Mail Program then, I know I could have doubled the money we raised. This book will give any nonprofit a clear, easy plan to follow that will make their direct mail campaign a success.”
Ann Cameron, banker and volunteer board president, La Clinica de la Raza

“Yes! Volunteers and professionals alike are taken on a step–by–step process that actually moves you by leaps and bounds toward accomplished direct mail practice.”
Skip Henderson, fund raising teacher, University of San Francisco and Indiana University′s Fund Raising School


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out of 5 based on ratings. 3926 user reviews

Howard Lake is a digital fundraising entrepreneur. Publisher of UK Fundraising, the world's first web resource for professional fundraisers, since 1994. Trainer and consultant in digital fundraising. Founder of Fundraising Camp.

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