Looking Back at 2013's Last Week of Fundraising, Part 2
The final letter was, I confess, a seed mailing from a year-end appeal from one of my clients. I mention it only because it was the only one that actually referenced (broadly) the year-end. While I don't know how it performed, there are three things that we focused on that I believe matter for any nonprofit wanting to send out a year-end mailing. First, make it look personal. Mail to your most committed supporters, and build on that relationship. Second, keep it short. Let your donors know that you are aware they are busy with other things and you're respecting that. Finally, mail with enough padding that it will arrive before the New Year, with language that doesn't make it feel "wrong" if it happens to get delivered pre-Christmas.
Bottom line: This old dog is seeing less and less mail at year-end, replaced by e-appeals where the delivery date can be controlled. In fact, the dearth of mail tells me there is potentially an opportunity to stand out in the mailbox, if you make sure your year-end mail has the right look and sound and isn't just a recycled, "one-size-fits-all" mailing that looks vaguely like white noise in the post-Christmas/pre-January week.
Next week I'll dig into the donation processing I experienced with my year-end giving. So far, it's looking like some organizations are still digging out …
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.