Before you drop your direct mail donor appeals and donor newsletter, consider these findings by literacy scholars in Norway and Canada. Paper beats computer screens at making written information, ideas and emotions stick in readers’ minds.
Of course, fundraisers already know this: printed direct mail still does better than email in terms of donor response rates by wide margins.
A new study from Norway takes a deeper look at the difference between paper and screen. Using both fiction and factual articles, researchers compared comprehension and retention between groups reading the same material from PDFs on monitors and from printed pages. The group reading from screens understood significantly less than those reading print. Anne Mangen at the Reading Centre of the University of Stavanger in Norway and her co-authors speculate Read more
Sadly, too often in fundraising the desire to give or get stuff gets in the way of us having deep conversations with donors about change, about possibility, about human need and personal aspirations. About the “love of humankind” that is at the root core of philanthropy.
We really don’t need as much stuff as we have. Not in our lives, and not in our interactions with our donors.