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The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

TFN is published by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, Mansfield Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh, EH3 6BB. The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation. Registration number SC003558.

Poll: Should charities stop sending direct mail?

This poll is about 9 years old

​The public hates direct mail, but charities continue to use it as a major tool in their fundraising strategy. Are they right or is it time to stop?

Should charities stop sending direct mail?


Direct mail is consistently the biggest source of fundraising complaints – significantly more public complaints are made about it than chuggers or charity cold calling.

For many people, increasingly large amounts of direct mail go straight in the bin and are seen as nothing more than a junk mail nuisance.

Notoriously difficult to get right, direct mail also typically generates a less than 5% response rate. For some charities, though, this can be a lucrative fundraising stream.

So, what do you think? Is the income worth the reputational risk?

Voting in this poll has now closed


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Helena Richards
about 9 years ago
I'm not sure this is the right question - in my view there's not just a simple yes or no answer. There may be some situations where a direct mail is ok - but it depends on the circumstances and who it is being sent to.
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Abbe Farrell
about 9 years ago
I agree with Helena. This is a bit of an unfair question. Do the public 'hate' DM? Because we get an amazing response from the public during our appeal times! There is no simple answer, and I am a little disappointed that tfn have put such a negative slant on this, the charity sector needs support.... not more negativity....
Commenting is now closed on this post