A Tale of 4 Acquisition Efforts
The ask isn't consistent
Best Friends tells me that "$25 spays or neuters a dog" and suggests I join "at the $25 level." Yet, the reply form starts at $12. I feel like I am being let off the hook! I have no idea what $12 does, but it sure is a bargain. North Shore Animal League asks for a gift of $20 or more but starts at $15 on the reply form. The bottom line (to me) is to look at donors acquired at a lower level and determine if (when) they become profitable for your organization. If the answer is "never" or too far into the future to be sustainable, don't ask on the reply form for a lower gift than you need to make an acquisition effort pay off over time.
The text isn't as easy to read as it could be
North Shore Animal League uses an easy-to-read serif font, but it doesn't indent paragraphs. As a result, the front page of the letter looks like a pretty heavy block of type that may imply "tough read" to some. Yet, there is plenty of room left on the back page. Adding indentation and breaking the longer paragraphs (especially the first one) into two would make the letter easier to read, and using bolding or other type elements would make the letter more appealing to a scanner (human, not electronic).
The Los Angeles Mission uses a sans-serif font that is lightweight and gets a bit lost in the striped background. Again, this is probably a control package and has been tested into. But for this old dog, it's hard to read — not impossible, but I'm not sure I really want to bother. With the small format, space it very limited. But I wonder if we could do a better job of making the copy in that limited space more readable.
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.