‘Quite Interesting’ benchmarking finding #1

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As the Benchmarking Project team compiled and reviewed the 2022 Essentials Report, there were a few frequently said remarks:

  • “That’s interesting”
  • “I didn’t expect that!”
  • “How can that be?”
  • “It depends” (that one was Andy Tidy. He says ‘it depends’ with comforting regularity)

Despite our many shared years of fundraising experience (more than most of us would care to admit), there were at least a few findings that had us asking Andy to click ‘refresh’. Sometimes we were surprised. Sometimes we were confused. Sometimes we were smugly satisfied to find something we had suspected for years turned out to be true!

So, in the spirit of the great British panel show, we will be providing a series of ‘snapshots’ of ‘Quite Interesting’ findings from the 2022 Benchmarking Project Essentials Report. Here is the first:

It turns out that Direct Mail is still very much alive!

There has been a meme circulating the sector for a while that we are in the ‘dying days’ of Direct Mail. I mean, who sends letters anymore? Isn’t DM just SO last season?

Well, no, it isn’t. As it turns out, DM is more of an enduring ‘classic’ than we might have assumed. As we can see, DM continues to dominate Single Gift acquisition for our member charities – delivering 55% of single gifts in 2021:

Granted, we did observe a peak in 2014, followed by a steady decline leading to a 5 year-low in 2019. However, volumes have increased since then, along with average gift and Year 1 value. While online volume did grow significantly between 2019 and 2020, it failed to knock out DM’s top spot. Far from fading, DM made a comeback!

So, to anyone who might argue that DM is on the way out, you can answer that, like a classic Chanel suit, it continues to stand the test of time.

If you’re not already a member, or need to renew for next year, please contact us at

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