Are You Sending Too Much Mail?
Make a better offer
Donors donate. They give purposefully and with joy. They show up on your lists because they love to change the world.
You can win their hearts (not to mention their donations) by helping them really change the world. Pitch them offers that are specific, exciting and impactful. Thrill them with amazing philanthropic "deals" that help fulfill their desire to make a difference.
Do that, and they'll love you too much to see your stuff as junk mail. They won't complain, because they'll be too busy writing checks, enjoying the warm glow and looking forward to the next appeal.
Tell a more memorable story
Part of the currency fundraisers give in exchange for donations is stories. To be human is to love and crave stories. Especially true stories that have something to do with us. If your mail contains stories so gripping and memorable that your donors can't wait to repeat them, you'll escape the junk-mail category.
Be all about the donors, not yourself
Here's a thought you should have tattooed on your forearm: Donors don't give because you are great. They give because they are great.
The fundraisers who don't get that are the ones who produce all that annoying junk mail — that self-centered cacophony of competing look-at-me claims. One of the quickest ways out of the junk-mail pile is to talk about the donor:
- Remind her how special she is. The fact that she gives to you (or even shows up on lists of likely donors) puts her in a special elite.
- Talk about things you have in common with her — you practice the same faith, or live in the same community, or share the same interests and passions.
- Don't try to educate her into being more like you.
- Make your materials easy to read. If your designers (or brand graphic standards) insist on faddish, hard-to-read fonts, type treatments and colors, get new ones. (Designers or graphic standards!)
- Don't ask her to be one soldier in your army; ask if you can be a soldier in her army.
Complete the circle