It’s just about fundraising season! And that means it’s time to get a fundraising letter in the mail.
Before you get started, I wanted to share with you how to make your fundraising letter successful. I’ve seen folks spend hours and hours carefully editing their fundraising letter then get frustrated when it doesn’t give them the results they want. To help you avoid that same fate, consider these factors of your appeal’s success.
The List (40%) – The list you use to mail … read more
If you are facing up to a large church fund raising effort, chances are you want to attack the issue from all sides.
If you need a significant amount of money, say for a new building or refurbishment of a current one, then obviously it won’t be enough just to sell a few chocolate bars and hope for the best. While running supplementary fundraising efforts can certainly help, you will probably also want to make use of church fundraising letters, that can be sent out … read more
Anger is one of the best emotions that you can arouse in a donor. Anger is a healthy emotion, particularly when your fundraising letter offers donors a way to assuage their anger. Individuals are more prone to respond to a genuine feeling of anger than to any other emotion, says Roland Kiniholm in his book, Maximum Gifts by Return Mail.
To make your donors angry, you need a villain. Villains are good. They help you focus your donors attention on one problem that needs fixing. That … read more
Where to Look for New Donors for Your Fundraising Letter Appeals
Have you ever studied your best donors and wished you could clone them all? Maybe you can, with a bit of creative thinking.
1. Friends of current supporters
The first place to look is friends, family and colleagues of your current supporters. The odds are good that your most generous and faithful donors have friends or co-workers or family members who will want to support your cause as well.
One of the most popular ways of acquiring new … read more
Youll be encouraged to know that the art of writing effective fundraising letters can be learned. I learned it. So can you.
Successful fundraising letters share a number of things in common. Once you know what these things are, your letter is already half-way written. Before I share what they are, let me explain what I mean by a successful or effective fundraising letter. I mean a letter that generates a gift, certainly, but I also mean a letter that builds upon the relationship you have … read more
Lapsed Donors How to Write a Fundraising Letter That Wins Them Back
Our definition may differ, but I define a lapsed donor as someone who has not donated to your organization within the last year, two years or three years. Donors who have not sent you a gift in over three years are not lapsed donors. They are former donors.
Lapsed donors are valuable. Unlike strangers, they have supported you before. And they believe in your mission enough to have sent you a gift (or gifts). That … read more
Fundraising Letters Where To Find Creative Ideas For Your Appeals
How do you make your fundraising letters creative and fresh year after year when your needs don?t change all that much? I am not talking about new initiatives. I?m talking about the programs that you run year after year. The membership drive that you run year after year. The funds that you must raise to cover administrative expenses and salaries year after year. How can you request funds for these things over time without boring your … read more
Readers spend only a few seconds deciding the fate of your direct mail fundraising appeals. Either they open them on the spot, set them aside for later, or chuck them in the waste paper basket. Here are some creative ways to tease your donors into opening your envelopes.
Hint at the contents
A #10 envelope from Covenant House is covered in retro 1960s flowers, with the headline, ?A Special Gift for you inside . . .?
A 6 x 9 envelope for Nature Conservancy shows wetlands, forests … read more
Donors will stop responding to your fundraising letter appeals for many reasons. Some of which you can manage, but many of which you cannot. Use these findings to retain as many of your donors as you can.
1. They forget
I suppose you could call this a case of ?poor institutional memory.? Donors simply forget your institution. They read your letter, decide to give, put your letter down somewhere, and then forget to mail you their gift.
2. They get distracted
Some stop sending gifts because they … read more
Have you ever met a donor who liked funding infrastructure? I have. Once. When I served as Director of Development for a national non-profit, my organization needed a new heating and ventilation system for the national office. The cost was around $75,000, as I recall.
The executive director approached one of our major donors, a businessman who was also a faithful supporter, and asked if he would like to partner with us. The donor promptly wrote a cheque for the full amount. Later on, that same … read more