Mail remains a critical medium for charities, according to new research

Mail remains a critical medium for charities, according to new research

20 May 2020

"Four out of five fundraisers say that mail is a key part of their fundraising programme"

Four out of five fundraisers say that mail is a key part of their fundraising programme, according to new research by the Chartered Institute of Fundraising and Royal Mail MarketReach released today. An overwhelming majority stating that it enhances the supporter experience, builds loyalty and engagement.

The new guide, ‘The Power of Mail in Charity Fundraising’, explores how charities can make the most of mail, finding both new and improved ways to connect with their audiences to raise funds and to nurture the all-important supporter relationship.

The guide brings together key findings from surveys conducted by both organisations, as well as insight from charities on their success with mail, whether that takes the form of addressed letters, unaddressed door drops, postcards, newsletters, reports, event packs, or retail catalogues.

Key findings

Fundraiser’s insight into their use of mail, conducted by the IoF, Fundraising Mail Survey (December 2019):

  • 82% of fundraisers use mail for their fundraising / supporter engagement programme
  • 93% say that it enhances the supporter experience, building loyalty and engagement
  • 82% of fundraisers value the room mail provides for storytelling

The public’s opinion of fundraising mail, according to JICMAIL  (Q2 2017-Q1 2019) & Royal Mail MarketReach (2017-2019):

  • 92% of charity mail is engaged with (opened, read, sorted, put aside for later, filed, put on display or in the usual place)
  • 65% of recipients say they are likely to give mail their full attention
  • 70% say mail makes them feel valued
  • People remember more from mail items compared to email or social media content with long-term memory encoding 47% stronger

Download the guide

Amanda Griffiths, Head of Communications Planning at Royal Mail MarketReach, said

Mail enables charities to communicate with supporters directly in a way no other medium can. A mail pack creates that feeling of ‘they cared enough to write to me’ – meaning people feel recognised and valued for their support, closer to the charity and cause and more likely to support it not only for longer, but also in additional ways.

Daniel Fluskey, Head of Policy & External Affairs, said

We’re pleased to have partnered on this guide, giving fundraisers the insight they need to make the most impact with their mail communications. Mail’s tangibility provokes a very different reaction than other channels, and with so much content vying for people’s attention in the digital space, it can be that much more substantive. It can have a particularly strong impact on emotional resonance and engagement.


Royal Mail MarketReach has a team of mail experts; data, media and communication planners; as well as free reports, tools and services to support you. It is committed to ensuring that when you consider mail as a communication channel, you can use it to maximum effect. And this support is, as always, available for free.

The Chartered Institute of Fundraising (IoF) is the professional membership body for UK fundraising. We support fundraisers through leadership and representation; best practice and compliance; education and networking; and we champion and promote fundraising as a career choice. We have over 6,000 individual members and over 600 organisational members who raise more than £10 billion in income for good causes every year.