Why the Canadian Red Cross uses direct mail to fundraise

We are incredibly appreciative of the generosity of the Canadian Red Cross donors and supporters. Because of their contributions, we have the resources to carry out our purpose of assisting people and communities in need and, fostering resilience in Canada and around the world.

A woman checks her mailOne way we reach these donors and supporters is through the mail. Sending a letter thanking our donors for their past support and asking if they would like to donate again remains an important source of revenue. In some instances, donors also receive a small gift in the mail, such as a pen, or a calendar.

These small cost-effective gifts are appreciated by many donors and greatly increase the overall revenue raised.

We often hear questions about this type of fundraising and wanted to share these responses with our supporters.

Is this a cost-effective way to raise money?

In the 2022/2023 fiscal year, $38 million was raised through mail to help support the work of the Canadian Red Cross. The Canadian Red Cross is committed to honoring the intent of our donors and keeping costs as low as possible to ensure that as much of donors’ financial donation as possible goes directly to help people and communities in Canada and around the world in times of need. We are transparent in our reporting to donors and reports on finances every year in our annual report which is available on our website.

We also employ rigorous processes to ensure that donors who do not wish to receive mail are removed from our mailing lists. We encourage donors to contact us at anytime at WeCare@redcross.ca or at 1-800-418-1111 to update their preferences.
Why can’t you just send email?

Mail is one of many strategies the Red Cross uses to raise money for our programs and services. Others include email, social media, telemarketing and face to face canvassing, among others. The mail remains the most popular way that donors communicate with us to support the work of the Red Cross. We are so grateful for our donors and are committed to keeping our fundraising costs low to make sure as much of their gift as possible is going directly to our work.
Is there an environmental impact?

We understand and share concern for the environment. We’ve taken steps to reduce our environmental impact – including when it comes to fundraising. We use recyclable paper, and some stock which contains recycle content. The production facility we use recycles all paper waste and uses eco-friendly ink whenever possible. We continue to explore how we can incorporate more FSC stock and recyclable and environmentally conscious items into the mail program.

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