Are you currently under fundraising stress? Here are some ideas for boosting your year-end appeal.
1.Get rid of the kitchen sink.
There's a good chance that no one donor can provide your organization with all of its needs. That's good, too! Great communities of individuals who are all committed to achieving a common goal help build strong organization.
So, refrain from making all of your needs known. Donors just aren't Saint . Moreover, they not need to divert their well managed attention from other tasks in order to try to understand how you want them to assist.
So, be considerate of them. Specify a single need. Use your story as an example to support this. Want to add more so badly? You may include a second paragraph in the mailing that emphasizes still another requirement.
2. Identify the issue that needs fixing.
The best is to be as explicit as you can. "Your neighbors are starving," as opposed to "Give to our annual appeal," is considerably more persuasive. With a gift now, you can contribute. The one, tiny, crucial detail can be your best friend in this situation.
Once you've recognized the issue, look for a narrative to explain it. This is how "tell" and "show" differ from one another. And analyze it... Every day, through a wide range of sources, we are "told" things. It's very draining!
3. Don't make it about you, even though it is.
I'll explain. Your writing should be one-on-one and conversational. Whether you mail to 10 people or 10,000, that remains the same. So you can make sure you're doing that by using Tom Ahern's straightforward "you test."
Write your argument. Then go through and underline each occurrence of "you," including "your," "you're," etc. Even just using Word's "find" feature is an option. There should be a tonne of "you" where you look. And not so much you, but rather the organization.
You want your organization to act as the middleman, the kind individual who brings someone who has an issue to someone else who enjoys solving problems. That’s your job. You don’t need to brag. Establish that you have the expertise. Then get out of the way.
4. Consider a package rather than a letter when writing your year-end pitch.
This might not be easy, but it could support the appeals of many groups. Consider more than just a letter. Think more creatively than a letter with a money slip attached!
A letter—typically 4 pages long—a full-page reply form (front and back), a return envelope, and an outer envelope are included in the majority of the appeal packs I produce.
Will it raise your printing costs a little bit? Yes. Will it probably also increase the amount you raise? Yes. Testing is, of course, the only way to be sure because your organization is special. But try it out. And consider adding even more for important occasions, like at the end of the year. A unique insert (referred to as a "lift" because it typically heightens responsiveness)
5. Do not be scared to let images carry the bulk of your message.
If you're fortunate enough to have excellent images, use them. Boy, that's a wise fundraising investment.
It's true what they say—pictures convey ideas more effectively and quickly than words. Longer than words have existed, our eyes have been a component of the human package.
Someone will gaze at a set of eyes that are looking into the camera, even if they are on a page. It's primitive.
So, if you have such pictures, let them be heard.
6. Want to ignite your year-end appeal in a big way? Boost the love.
I can see you rolling your eyes outside. On this, however, I'm not backing down.
It takes emotion to raise money. Yes, feelings can be messy and even frightening. But many give out of feelings. When we see someone else in need and are aware of our ability to assist, we want to do so!
Review your appeal, then. Does it cause you to feel slightly uneasy? Like when you meet someone you really click with, then wonder if maybe you said too much?
Did you just splash your heart all over the page on behalf of the people who need help?
If so, you're showing to donors how they should respond to your appeal. You're making it possible for people to accept, even enjoy, the somewhat irrational decision to spend their own money to assist a total stranger.