30 Ideas to Enhance Fundraising Direct-Response Creative, Part 2
Then, make an ask for a specific gift repeatedly. A good rule of thumb is to ask four times in the letter: within the first three paragraphs, at the end of page 1, at the end of the letter and in the postscript.
14. People need (and like) to be told what to do
Don't assume your donor knows what you want him or her to do. Spell it out. Tell donors specifically: "Donate now!" "Send your gift!" "Sign this pledge!"
Tell donors exactly what you want them to do.
15. Write a strong call to action
The call to action is vital in any direct-response fundraising campaign. Be specific, i.e., "Provide one Thanksgiving dinner for $1.97." Quantify a gift's impact, i.e., "$25 will feed one hungry child for a full week." Include a value-added component, i.e., "Give an extra $10 and we we'll include a toy." Set a deadline. And highlight offers like a matching gift to multiply the donor's generosity.
16. Give thanks
Acknowledging a donor's gift is so vital. It's the first — and one of the most important — step in donor retention, something that every fundraiser has to focus on. So make sure you thank your donors, and make sure you thank them promptly. A prompt thank-you is the most important factor.
Also, consider using multiple channels to send multiple thank-yous. Multichannel donors are the most loyal and most valuable, and sending multiple thank-yous is better than sending a single one.
In addition, as a best practice, fundraising letters should cite the donor's previous giving and generosity, as well as the difference the donor's gifts made.
17. Lapsed donors are still part of the family
Don't neglect lapsed donors who have not given recently but are still valuable to your organization. Not only does reactivating a lapsed donor cost less than acquiring a new one, but it also may simply be that the donor has fallen off for various reasons but still cares about the organization. So make sure to have a strategy for contacting lapsed donors to bring them back into the fold.
Related story: 30 Ideas to Enhance Fundraising Direct-Response Creative, Part 1