Fundraiser strategies: Combining print and digital for nonprofits

Can you believe summer is almost here? While summer isn’t a typical time for fundraising, it’s a unique time to reach your donors through a strategic fusion of print and digital media.

At Magnolia Media Group, we’ve specialized in nonprofit marketing for most of our agency lifetime. This means that we recognize the unique opportunities and challenges fundraising presents for nonprofits. Here are some of our reasons and methods for combining digital and print. Get ready to make your nonprofit stand out as the place to support!

Reaching diverse audiences might not look the way you’d think

It’s true: digital platforms offer extensive reach and precise targeting capabilities. But we’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: print is NOT dead. 

Print media maintains the highest performing type of marketing material amongst all age groups. In fact, the same source says that millennials are actually the most likely – compared to Gen X or Baby Boomers – to take action on marketing mail.

BUT don’t cancel your Mailchimp subscription just yet.

48% of donors say email is their favorite way to get both updates and appeals from nonprofits.

By leveraging both digital and print mediums, nonprofits can ensure they connect with a diverse range of supporters, from the digitally savvy to those who appreciate the tangible appeal of a paper and ink letter.

Another word on print: Establishing trust and authenticity 

In our digital landscape saturated with online ads and promotions, print materials such as personalized mailers and event invitations can create a sense of authenticity and trust (over twice as much trust as with digital or social media ads, according to

Printed materials create a tangible connection with donors, fostering a deeper sense of engagement and commitment to your cause. And isn’t that everyone’s goal?

Seamless Experience + Meaningful Engagement

Today’s donors expect a seamless experience across various communication channels. One of the best ways? Integrating print and digital media. Doing so helps to reinforce key messages and drive engagement. 

For instance, a print newsletter with a QR code may prompt recipients to visit a customized donation page. Or a social media post might inform people of your upcoming fundraising event, where they become even more connected and ultimately make a gift to your organization.

Optimizing fundraising ROI by prioritizing personalization

Each medium has its strengths and limitations, and each organization is different. A balanced approach allows organizations to allocate resources effectively based on audience preferences and campaign objectives. (In short: Don’t put all your eggs in one basket!)

What leads one organization to success might not work for another. So make sure you test within your own audience and analyze the data to see what resonated most.

One final word of wisdom: Fundraising campaigns should not remain bursts of effort; a lasting bond with donors is the marathon worth running.

Summer-specific ideas: Capitalize on the season

Now that you’re (hopefully) convinced of the merit of both print and digital marketing efforts, think about what makes your organization different. (It’s especially important to do so when this time of year since people are busier during the summer.)

Nothing says “kid” more than summer! If your nonprofit serves children, why not theme your campaign around the fun and innocence of children? Get a video of some of the kids (with guardians’ permission, of course) you’ve helped, and let them say what they like best about your organization.

Maybe your nonprofit has to do with affordable housing – or lack thereof – in your community. To really put things in perspective, have one of your board members film a timelapse across an hour – or a day – without the air conditioning on in the middle of summer. This would provide a real-time look at the reality for someone living in substandard housing just to get by.

No matter what you do, make sure it’s personal and truly draws your audience in by their heartstrings.

Remember: Successful fundraising is about more than just soliciting donations – it’s about storytelling, relationship-building and inspiring action. As you prepare for your summer fundraising initiatives, we’d love to step in and help you do more and do better for your donor communications. Click to get in touch today!