8 Smart Mailing Tips for Small Organizations
Smart Tip No. 2
Don't be afraid to admit you're small. "I believe you are committed to our mission, and I assure you, we are working tirelessly to achieve it. But frankly, we are just getting started — and that's why your most generous gift before December 31 is so important. With your help, we will do even more!" In other words, show them they matter. We all like to feel needed; let them know that you really do need their support.
Smart Tip No. 3
See if a board member, a donor or a group of donors who are close to your organization (or you) will pledge a matching gift. We all love sales, and a promise that "every dollar you give will be matched by another $1 from a generous donor" is the closest we come to a bargain in charitable giving. Since your list is small, a matching pledge of $3,000 or $5,000 may be adequate (depending on the size of your list). Matches are powerful; they lift response and can encourage donors to upgrade (give more than ever before). Beg if you have to, but get a matching gift and offer this magic multiplier in your letter.
Smart Tip No. 4
Don't overcomplicate things. Yes, sponsorship programs or multiple levels of recognition with various benefits are great — but they can be a disaster if you rush into them without thinking through all the ramifications. If you cobble something together seemingly overnight so you can offer it in your year-end mailing, you are likely to regret it before long. Keep it simple. "We need your support. Give today and help make 2015 the best year ever for the [people/animals/environment/whatever] we work tirelessly to help." The time for creative giving schemes is when you can carefully think them through before the launch.
Pamela consults with nonprofits, helping them develop their fundraising strategy and writing copy to achieve their goals. Additionally, she teaches fundraising at two universities, hoping to inspire the next generation of fundraisers to be passionate about the profession. Previously, Pamela led the fundraising programs for nonprofit organizations. Pamela is a member of the Advisory Panel for Rogare, the fundraising think tank at Plymouth University’s Hartsook Centre for Sustainable Philanthropy, a CFRE, a graduate of Wheaton College (IL) and Dominican University, and holds a Doctorate in Business Administration from California Southern University. Contact Pamela at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter at @pjbarden.