Small charities urged to avoid using direct mail

The Small Charities Coalition will urge its members to ditch direct mail in favour of cheaper fundraising methods that it believes are more relevant to organisations with lower profiles.

The suggestion appears in a fundraising strategy for small charities, released by coalition founder Patrick Cox to coincide with the launch of the umbrella organisation yesterday.

Cox will urge the coalition's members to focus on approaches that do not require big investment, such as cash collections, face-to-face fundraising, legacy fundraising and donations collectable through the charities' own websites.

He will also promote such fundraising websites as Just Giving and charitable search engine Everyclick, which provide charities with income without them having to invest much time.

"You need to concentrate on encouraging every volunteer you have and every supporter you have to give regularly through direct debit and standing order," said Cox. "Our members need to concentrate on the strategies that work. Direct mail is a lot of money to invest in unless you are a big, branded charity. If you aren't, stay away from it."

The coalition will look at different ways in which small charities can make more successful grant applications.

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