To those who think direct mail doesn’t work: this is certainly an unconventional yet effective method. Smile Train, who we’re sure you’ve received mail from a time or two before, is a nonprofit that provides surgeries at no cost to children born with clefts and trains. They are very aggressive with their fundraising efforts and it’s no surprise that many people are turned off by their seeming bombardment of mail asking for money. So they decided to do an experiment. They sent one group a solicitation that said if they donated once to the organization, they would never be asked again. The other test group received the normal solicitation with no opt-out option. Surprisingly one-and-done group donated $22,728, while those who received a standard letter donated $13,234. Not only that, only 39% of the one-and-done group actually chose to opt-out from further solicitation. This is definitely a high-risk, high-reward experiment that looks to have paid off.