Bundling Your Donor Communications

Every day, we meet with incredible people who are doing everything they can to raise money for their nonprofit organizations. As we get to know them, we not only hear about the good they’re doing, but we also hear about their struggles. They’re tired, they’re short on time, and they’re trying to balance a million things at once.

Sounds like the life of the average nonprofit employee, right? 

The good news is that it doesn’t have to be this way. While there will always be things to do, there’s one big way that we’ve found to help our clients with their struggles. We call it bundling. 

What is bundling? 

In short, bundling involves taking most or all of your donor communications you plan to send for the year and working on them all at one time. 

Why consider bundling your donor communications?

Let’s look at the positive outcomes that can come from bundling your donor communications. 

Bundling saves you time.

One of the biggest objections we hear when we mention bundling is the upfront time to start the process. While you will spend some extra time at the beginning of this process, you will save a huge amount of time compared to the time you would normally spend on these tasks each month. 

Let’s say it takes you one work week to get all of your donor communications for the year planned out. That’s roughly 40 hours. Now, if you break it out into monthly segments, you may spend twice that managing the planning of the next communication, overseeing the art and copy of your current communication, plus making sure that the vendor, designer, writer, and other people involved have everything they need to complete their tasks. 

One of our clients saved themselves more than 40 hours each month just by bundling. That’s like getting an extra week back in your schedule every single month! 

Bundling your donor communications can save you money.

Not only does bundling save you time, but it can save you money as well. This is especially true when it comes to working with vendors. For example, if you bundle your communications with your print shop, they might give you discounts and other breaks because you’re meeting a quantity threshold that triggers such a discount. This can save you thousands of dollars on printing each year. 

Bundling can also save you money with any freelance writers or designers you may be using. When they have everything they need up front, they save time going back and forth with you; if they’re working at an hourly rate, this reduces the cost of your various projects. The freelancers may also offer you a discount for giving them that much work at one time. 

Even if you’re doing everything in house, having your team spend less time executing donor communications gives everyone valuable hours back in the work week. This will allow them to take on other projects, grow in their roles, and hopefully bring in more donations for your organization. 

Bundling gives you and your team time to focus on other areas of development and fundraising.

Imagine what you could do with extra time in your schedule. Would you take on a new project that you’ve had sitting on the back burner? Would you finally expand into new fundraising channels? Would you feel more excited about your job because you get to use your skills in new areas instead of recycling the same things each month?

All of this is possible with bundling. Better yet: This could translate into you having a happier, more productive team that is excited to work on projects that can help you reach or exceed your goals. 

Bundling helps you design a more cohesive and effective communication plan.

One final reason to consider bundling is that it offers your team an opportunity to build a more cohesive and effective communications plan

When you’re working on all of your assets at one time, you’ll find ways to connect appeals to newsletters and design more powerful asks without having to take valuable time looking back at what you’ve already said. Bundling may also spark some creative ideas for additional communications, social media pushes, or major donor campaigns. You’ll get a better sense of if you’re sharing the right stories at the right time as well.   

Even if you don’t end up bundling your donor communications, you should review your efforts at the end of each year. This can offer you valuable insights on what could be better and what you should do the following year when communicating with your donors. 

Now that you know why you should at least look into bundling to see if it’s right for your team, be sure to check out part two in this series. We’ll show you how you can take steps to start bundling—even on a small scale—to see if it’s a fit for you.

Kari Trent Stageberg
Kari Trent Stageberg, MBA is the co-founder of The Nonprofit Consulting Shop. She also runs a small nonprofit with her dad called StrongFamilies. Blending her decade of experience with strategy and development for multi-million-dollar nonprofits, Kari’s passion is to help nonprofits of any size experience agency level support to help them reach their goals.