It’s a fact of our modern life. When a natural or man made disaster strikes anywhere in the world images and videos are instantly broadcast for everyone to see. Long gone are the days of waiting for reporters with cameras to fly in from New York. With the advent of smartphones we are all curators of our own shared history.
The world is smaller. And because of this we feel more connected to our fellow human beings. So when suffering occurs our empathy is instant. Human beings want to help fellow human beings. Because despite what you might have read – the world is full of pretty great people (just look at a list of recent disaster related fundraising efforts from the Association of Fundraising Professionals website).
But wanting to help means nothing if there are no options. Time is the critical factor. So fundraisers, NGOs and governments must always be prepared to act at a moments notice with disaster relief fundraising efforts. When a disaster occurs organizations have to be adaptable enough to leverage the public’s immediate and urgent interest in a situation. This is crucial to saving lives as medical, financial and emergency logistics support all require significant resources to mobilize effectively. Often government matching funds are available for only a limited time. So getting donations processed before the deadline can make a huge difference to the success of a campaign.
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In the old days a DM campaign might take weeks. But today direct mail campaigns are faster, easier and more targeted – letting fundraisers get their direct appeals printed, sorted and out to Canada Post in as little as half a day.
As an example, our new production inkjet printer, the Elan, by Delphax, can produce a campaign overnight with tens of thousands of letters ready-to-mail within hours. All we need is a mailing list and some event specific details to fill in the blanks on a template letter we have in our files.
From blank white paper to full customized disaster response mailings, new technology is automating most of the process and removing days of unnecessary delays that can cost not-for-profits dearly as a disaster slips from the headlines.
And we’re not even talking about a generic mailer. New workflow automation, works night and day to merge data to pre-set templates (inserting variable paragraphs, images and headings). So now any fundraiser can be ready to execute a major DM campaign to donors with just a few clicks.
And as this is all digital, there’s no need to pre-print and store letterhead and outer envelopes. It’s all just another cost your supporters don’t have to pay for anymore.
Just imagine the impact on donations for earthquake or tsunami relief efforts! The future of adaptable, responsive fundraising campaigns is here. And it’s still print.