What Our Non-Profit Customers Are Saying About Results

May 15, 2018

It is one thing for us to say that we are really good at helping non-profit organizations with their appeals, annual reports, newsletters and more but it is another thing when a non-profit customers tells us about results.

“Thank you for your great work on our Annual Appeal Letter in November/December. It went phenomenally and raised 10x what it had the year before!”

Bent W.

I am glad when our non-profit customers get good results because it means that we have done our part to help and also because when our non-profit customers raise money, it is good for the community as well.

If you aren’t using Burns Mailing & Printing, Inc. for your non-profit organization, call me today for a free consultation. Phyllis Burns 865 584-2265 or email me at phyllis@burnsmp.com.  We are the experts in non-profit direct mail.


Online Or Offline Marketing?

February 27, 2017


I have observed that some organizations think that on-line marketing can replace off-line marketing.  I serve a lot of non-profit organizations and when on-line marketing became very popular they decided that they could do away with off-line marketing.  Some of them decided to place their newsletter on-line and do away with mailing them. There donations dropped considerably. I think it was because a lot of folks don’t read blast emails and they soon get relegated to the trash folder or get filter by spam protection. Also there was no convenient envelope for them to send in their donation or save it for a later date.  It is important for the recipient to have a convenient vehicle to use.

My opinion is that you should use both on-line and off-line marketing.  When using off-line marketing the mailing should be personalized.  If someone has given money to an organization, they want to know that you, at least, know their name. Studies have shown that direct mail is the preferred way to receive communications because it is a trusted communication channel.

For the first time ever…Burns is offering one hour of free graphic design for first time customers.  The offer ends March 31st.  Now is a perfect time to get started.  Burns also has variable data digital printing.  Call us to see what is possible. 865 584-2265

We Design And Print Custom Christmas Cards

November 16, 2016

Would you like to have a custom Christmas card, something that gets your companies message out?  At Burns Mailing & Printing, Inc. we can design, print and mail custom Christmas cards.  For non-profit organizations that want to use a Christmas card as an appeal and put a donation envelope in the card, this is a great way to thank your donors. Call me at 865 584-2265 or email at phyllis@burnsmp.com

Burns Mailing & Printing, Inc. is Partnering With Red Bird Consulting To Assist Non-Profit Organizations

September 13, 2016

At Burns Mailing & Printing, we have used the slogan three good reasons.  Well now we have four good reasons.  The fourth is that Burns is partnering with Freddi Birdwell of Red Bird Consulting to offer our non-profit customers a turn key solution to their direct mail on such things as newsletters, annual reports, invitations and especially appeals.

Yes, Burns Mailing and Printing, Inc., is now offering the whole kit and caboodle, with one-stop shopping for all of our non-profit organization’s fundraising and donor communications needs!

  • Content Development & Copy writing
  • List/Segmentation Consultation
  • Graphic Design
  • Printing
  • Direct Mail Service

We are expanding our services through a partnership with Red Bird Consulting, founded by Freddi Birdwell, CFRE, to help non- profits  do more for our communities. Our non-profit customers can spend more time with their donors and less time creating fundraising appeals, annual reports and newsletters!

Freddi Birdwell is a seasoned fundraising professional with more than 25 years invested in fundraising and non-profit management. Her career includes extensive work with the American Cancer Society and with Catholic Charities of East Tennessee, where she spent eight years as Director of Development and Community Relations. During her Catholic Charities tenure, Freddi increased direct mail revenue by more than 54%. She has worked at the local, state and regional levels.

Freddi holds the Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) credential and is a current board member and past president of the Great Smoky Mountain Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals. She also serves on the boards of the Smoky Mountain Planned Giving Council and the Knoxville Association of Women Executives.



Response Rates, House File VS Prospect File

June 29, 2016

I have been asked many times about what is the response rate for direct mail.  The response rate depends on many factors, the copy, the ask, the size etc. According to the Direct Marketing Association, the following is the response rate using a house file vs a prospect file.

Letter Size envelope – House – 3.5%,  Prospect – 1.0%

Post Card – House – 4.3%,  Prospect – 1.0%

Oversized Envelope – House – 5.0%,  Prospect 2.0%

Catalog – House 3.9%,  Prospect 0.8%

This is a good argument for capturing data on your customers or donors. Your list is the best list.


I Love NonProfit Fundraisers

February 24, 2009

Being in the mailing/printing business I have a lot of interaction with nonprofit folks .  I have also been a member of the Smoky Mountain Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) in Knoxville, TN since 2000.  I am convinced that people who work at nonprofit organizations have a heart of gold.  They are educated, dedicated and obviously their motives are not for money.

Recently, I have been in their shoes trying to raise money for Lost Sheep Ministry, where I serve on the board.  Lost Sheep Ministry only has two paid employees and everything else is done with volunteers.  Usually a nonprofit has a development director to raise money but we cannot afford a development director, so yours truly is trying to head up additional fund-raising.  Maxine Raines, our founder, with the help of many volunteers has been raising money for 18 years by speaking passionately about the ministry and by applying for grants and the suppport of local churches. Being in AFP has been beneficial for me because I have learned a lot in the monthly meetings and from my friends in AFP.  However, I am learning just how hard fund-raising really is and I am convinced that running a mailing/printing company is much easier.  They have my utmost respect.  I know that newsletters, mailing appeals, website and donor database is essential but most importantly doing them right is a must.

The list is probably the most important thing.  Making sure that the list does not have bad addresses is now a requirement at the United States Postal Service.  I recommend cleaning up the list by NCOA link move update.  In fact ,we offer this service free to our nonprofit customers who are printing and mailing with us. The person who already has an association with the nonprofit is the very best person to target.  Someone who already knows about the organization and if you are lucky has a passion for what is being done in the organization.  The next is the letter or appeal.  Make it personal, the recipient expects the organization to know their name.  Telling that person what their donation is doing to make a difference in a life or in their community makes an impact.  The appeal does not have to be fancy, in fact, if it is too fancy the recipient may wonder why so much is being spent on design, printing etc. Usually two colors of ink for the printing works very well.  Coding the mail is one way of measuring the success of the appeal and is easily done by adding a code to the return donation slip or envelope.  Measuring the success of the mailing is essential and coding allows you to determine that success and also to do a test market of more than one appeal. I am going to continue to to learn from AFP and my fund-raising friends but I doubt if I would have gotten very far without being around them for a number of years and my association with AFP.

I loved nonprofit fundraisers before I tried being one but now I really love them for what they do for all of us.  Everyone else should too, the world is a better place because of them.

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world. Indeed – it’s the only thing that ever has.”  Margaret Mead