New Year Brings Hope for the Future

January 25, 2022 - by Lesley Hostetter, Sr. Vice President

As we start the new year, the news is grim. The pandemic is still disrupting life, schools are shutting down, offices are closed, supply chain issues persist and extreme weather is predicted.

It would be easy to think the sky is falling and we’re all doomed. But at Lautman, we remain optimistic. About fundraising … and our futures.

Let us share with you all the reasons why:

First, we’re coming off of an incredibly strong year-end fundraising season. While we patiently wait for all the mail results to come in, digital fundraising campaigns performed very well. From Giving Tuesday straight through year-end, donors showed their generosity, compassion and concern. Those of us in the direct response industry weren’t so sure what to expect after a phenomenal 2020 year-end. And while not every organization was able to beat those numbers, many DID! Nonprofits continue to raise more money each year, growing their donor files and increasing the value of donors through automated and upgraded giving. Donors – regular people around the country who want to make the world a better place – fill us with optimism.

OUR Q1 FUNDRAISING PREDICTION: Revenue and donor files remain steady as we pivot from year-end to renewals and mailed acquisition starts to dip in performance.

Second, we are all living through some of the biggest direct mail production challenges of our careers. How many times have your production directors said “I’ve never seen anything like this”? We’ve heard it a lot, and it’s true. None of us have experienced month-long delays to receive envelopes or paper stock. Our production schedules have gotten extremely complex with more details and moving parts than ever before.

And yet we’re doing it!  We’re still mailing the campaigns we planned for. We’re strategizing earlier, leaning on our gut instincts, and working faster and smarter. We’re stronger communicators – amongst our teams and with our clients and our industry partners. We've come together, and we’re getting our jobs done. The strength of our partnerships and our shared ability to think creatively and do whatever is needed to produce high quality mail fills us with optimism.

OUR Q1 PRODUCTION PREDICTION: Implementing winning test results in the mail continues to be a challenge as printing and production issues require us to work so far ahead. To compensate, teams will increasingly turn to digital which allows us to react more quickly.

More of us are thinking about diversity and equity within the fundraising world. This isn’t something that will change over night, but with more leaders in the industry dedicating time and energy toward shifting our strategies, our communication and targeting, the channels we use and the metrics we accept, we can build more inclusive donor files. We are inspired to be part of the direct response industry that spearheads this change toward valuing more diverse and equitable fundraising and more diverse participation and representation within nonprofits.

OUR DATA Q1 PREDICTION: We will begin to see more research, more white papers and new modeling options around diversity in fundraising.

Finally, here at Lautman, our employees also give us hope. It hasn’t been easy in this “in again, out again” office environment, yet our teams have adapted so well and we are as strong as ever. During the Covid years, we’ve been lucky to hire several new team members, onboarding them in a virtual setting. They’re doing great – and they’re making us great. Not only do they bring in new and innovative ideas for our clients' fundraising campaigns, they bring new energy and joy to the company. News reports show employees quitting in historic numbers – but our experience is the opposite – and that fills us with optimism.

OUR Q1 COMPANY PREDICTION: We will continue to do great work for our clients, no matter what challenges come our way, because we have smart people committed to making a difference in the world.


Enews Articles

October 2022

Engaging Networks Community Conference 2022

August 2022

August is Make-a-Will Month!

April 2022

Build a Successful, Data-driven Digital Fundraising Program Through Testing!

February 2022

Is It Time for A Fundraising Reboot?

May 2021

With an Ear to The Rail

November 2020

Are You Ready for Giving Tuesday?

August 2020

Waxing Philosophical About Email Deliverability

August 2020

How to Retain your COVID Emergency Donors

July 2020

How to Ride the Wave and Raise Money During the 2020 Elections

July 2020

Telling Your Donors You Care in the Time of COVID (while still asking for a gift)!

June 2020

The Best $49 You’ll Spend All Year

May 2018

Fundraising With Your Phone

May 2018

4 Things You Should Know About 2017 Giving

March 2018

Navigating the Unknown Impact of New Tax Laws

August 2017

Case Study: Using SMS to Get Donations at Year-End

May 2017

#17NTC 17 Tips for YOU!

February 2017

What (and Who) We Should Be Asking About State Laws

January 2017

2016 Digital Year-End: An Inbox Audit

September 2016

Production Blog

December 2015

An Ode to Sharing

October 2015

The Great Pumpkin and the Myth of the Unsolicited Donation

July 2015

Paradox of Choice

July 2015

#Bridge15 Take-aways

June 2015

Lady Gaga and the Importance of Relationships

May 2015

Back to the (Digital) Drawing Board

February 2015

Understanding Donors — The Old Fashioned Way

January 2015

My Four Fundraising Resolutions for 2015

November 2014

The Importance of Being Earnest

October 2014

AMMC Conference Teaches This Old Dog New Tricks

October 2014

Too Hot to Handle … How to Turn Warm Prospects into Donors

September 2014

Keeping Cross-channel Communications Consistent

August 2014

5 Tips for Better Fundraising Copy

June 2014

Keep Boredom out of the Boardroom

May 2014

Functional Creativity

April 2014

How to Raise Money from Baby Boomers

February 2014

Five Take Aways from the February DMA-NF Conference

January 2014

What Kind of Friend are You? Building Relationships That Last

December 2013

#GivingTuesday – Worth the Fuss?

November 2013

Donor Cultivation on a Budget

October 2013

1,500,050 Charities Making a Difference — A Statistic Donors Need To See

October 2013

The USPS Proposed Rate Hike — What Does It All Mean?

June 2013

Investing in Acquisition: How to Get Your Board on Board

May 2013

Redefining Charity Efficiency

May 2013

How Do You Measure Success in Acquisition?