Running late with your year-end appeal? Try these strategies

deadline nears for fundraising appeal letters

A typical production schedule for a fundraising appeal letter looks something like this:

  • 2-3 weeks for the creative work (interview, writing, design, proofing and approval process)
  • 2 weeks for production (print, fold, insert, address and mail)
  • Up to 2 weeks for mail delivery

And don’t forget there are holidays in there, too. If you want people to receive your letter at the beginning of December, and you haven’t started, you’re running late.

Don’t despair. And don’t just throw something together, pop it in the mail and hope for the best. If it’s important to you to raise as much money as possible, you need to not only get your fundraising appeal done—you need to get it done right.

The recession has placed many professionals in a Catch 22 situation. Because times are hard, the services your organization provides may be higher demand. Therefore, you need to raise more money so you can provide more services. Your donors may have been affected by the economy, so you need to do more just to reach the same level as last year. But because times are hard, staffing wasn’t increased this year, and you may have been stung by staffing cuts.

This is not the year to cut corners. You need your year-end appeal to be as effective as it can possibly be.

The solution  is to find a way to regain the labor force and the expertise you need.

  • First, look inside your organization for people to help you with your appeal letter. Perhaps you have a board member or volunteer who is a professional designer and could lay out your appeal letter faster and more skillfully than you could.
  • If you can’t find skilled help for your appeal letter, perhaps you can find people who could help with other projects. That would free up chunks of time for you to complete your year-end appeal.
  • If those strategies don’t work, hire outside experts on a per-project basis. The cost can be surprisingly affordable, and the increased donations you receive should more than cover the initial investment.  Many small organizations find it’s cost effective to outsource their appeal letters.

If you need help meeting the deadline for your year-end appeal, contact us today at 1-888-244-4013 to see how we can provide expert help at an affordable cost.


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