Spelling Out the Steps to a Powerful Annual Appeal
Ways to donate: Want people to donate? Make it easy. As in “one click of the mouse” or “one check mark with the pen” easy. While cross-platform conversions are difficult to encourage, it is still important for people receiving a printed appeal letter to know that they can donate online and vice-versa.
If your appeal is compelling, people may talk it up to friends and colleagues or commend your work on social networks. Make sure they have an easy way to tie in a donation portal. List these mediums and methods in your checklist or planogram to ensure donation opportunities are prominently incorporated.
Other opportunities to engage: Beyond donating in response to your appeal letter, how can people support your cause? Can they volunteer, host a fundraiser, serve on a board? You get the idea. It is much easier to secure donations from parties with whom you have an ongoing relationship as opposed to only communicating with them when you need or want money. Help prospective and current donors develop a stronger connection to your cause and become lifelong advocates for your mission. A short, bulleted list will suffice in the checklist or planogram.
Subsequent touchpoints: When planning out your appeal letter, list the communication channels you will use to maintain consistent contact with your donor pool. Identify opportunities to weave the communications together — be it with theme, by proving program/success updates, or increasing recipients’ exposure to and understanding of the work your organization does in the community.
Show of gratitude: Did your parents and teachers always tell you to mind your manners? When acknowledging annual-appeal donations, the same rules apply. Perhaps it is a handwritten thank-you note or shout-outs on Twitter. Regardless of the medium, map out a follow-up and thank-you strategy in your annual appeal letter checklist or planogram.