Looking Back at 2013's Last Week of Fundraising, Part 1
- E-mail more than once. There’s a lot of competition in the inbox so you don’t want to risk it all on one e-mail (or one that takes 36 hours to show up).
- Use your subject line to convey the deadline. “Invest in XYZ today” or “Your gift x3” seemed like “business as usual,” not something I needed to deal with in the holiday season.
- Change up your graphics. Sending multiple e-mails that basically look the same felt like “white noise” to me. I found myself thinking, “Didn’t I see this before?” At least to me, familiarity did not increase my interest.
- Address the recipient by name if your e-mail is in the form of a letter or note. “Personal” gets lost when there’s no mention of my name.
- Try a short, to-the-point e-mail (aka. Charity Navigator). I’m busy, but reading 27 words doesn’t seem to be asking too much of me. On the other hand, 705 words??!!!
- Make your offers easy to find without reading the entire e-mail or having to search for clickable text. Don’t ask recipients to do too much work; they may move on to an easier option.
Agree? Disagree? I’m sure there are readers who fall into both camps. But no matter where you stand, this old dog reminds you that looking at the “competition” in the mailbox or inbox is a great way to challenge your own thinking for your future fundraising efforts — and often gives you new ideas that you can hardly wait to incorporate.
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 email@example.com or follow her on Twitter at @pjbarden.