Tips for Making Your Year-End Appeal Rock!
2. Remember, your donors are the heroes. Draw them in. Use phrases like: "You have already made so much possible." "Through your generosity today, we can …" "The power is in your hands."
3. Keep it personal and donor-focused. Yes, I know that you're probably constrained by technology. I too have worked in organizations using Windows 98 (and it was not 1998). It may take more effort, but you can personalize those letters. There's no excuse for a "Dear Friend" letter. Ever.
4. Get your board involved. Are you familiar with lift notes, those extra pieces of paper slipped into a direct-mail package to lift response? Lift notes used to considerably boost response to direct-mail pieces. Donors may be more savvy these days, but they still respond to the personal touch.
As you segment your organization's database for your fall appeal, began polling your board members and volunteers for possible connections with donors. Schedule appointments in advance for them to come in to write personal sticky notes for those donors they have personal connections with.
Go big! Go bold! Think of going with oversized Post-it® notes in neon colors, using brightly colored ink.
5. Remember that you're not writing a college essay. You're writing to a friend. Write from the heart. Aim for the jugular.
6. Create a plan for follow-up. Now is the time to write your thank-you letter. Better yet, create a welcome kit/"pass it on pack" featuring ways donors can share the word about your organization to their friends and families.
Pamela Grow is the publisher of The Grow Report, the author of Simple Development Systems and the founder of Simple Development Systems: The Membership Program and Basics & More fundraising fundamentals e-courses. She has been helping small nonprofits raise dramatically more money for over 15 years, and was named one of the 50 Most Influential Fundraisers by Civil Society magazine, and one of the 40 Most Effective Fundraising Consultants by The Michael Chatman Giving Show.