Tips for your spring fundraising appeal package

spring fundraising appeal letter

It’s time to start planning your spring appeal. Before we get into techniques that can amp up you appeal, let’s keep in mind the basics:

 

  • The more your reader feels like your appeal is a personal letter to them and only them, the more likely you are to get their attention.
  • The message is the crucial part of the appeal. An emotional story about how their gift makes a significant difference in someone’s life will motivate them to give.

 

Now let’s look at some ways you can increase the response to your fundraising appeal package:

 

  • Want to make your appeal package feel like a personal letter? Use a closed face envelope with a stamp and no teaser copy. The salutation in the letter should include the name of the individual. The reply form should also be personalized with the individual’s name, and suggested giving amounts should be customized for each individual based on that individual’s most recent gift. (For a sample, e-mail us at [email protected].)  This may be an excellent choice for your best givers or for segments of your list that you have targeted for increased giving, but the extra cost may not be justified for low-level givers or for an acquisition mailing. (Read more about personalizing your appeal letter.)
  • A very low-cost package that continues to produce well is an 8.5 x 14 sheet that includes both the letter and response form, a #10 window envelope and a #9 reply envelope. Click to see a sample. Another advantage of this package is that it allows you to code the reply form, making gift processing much easier and quicker.
  • Here’s an interesting idea: copy a testimonial letter from someone who was helped by your services and use it as part of your appeal package. Make sure the letter you choose includes specifics about how you helped. Create a handwritten note from the executive director (reproduced on a printing press) and mail. This is low cost and very effective. If done right, each of the 50, 500, 5,000 or 50,000 readers will think you sent them a personal note. (E-mail us at [email protected] and we’ll send you a sample.)

 

We can help you select the best package for your spring appeal based on the list you are mailing to. In addition to increasing results, we may be able to help you save money on production. For example, including a brochure usually doesn’t increase response rate or average gift. Save your money!

 

If acquisition is part of your spring appeal, and you know it should be, we can help with prospect lists to match your current donor profile.

 

Contact Fundraising Assets at 1-888-244-4013 or e-mail me at [email protected].  We can talk about packages that will help you reach your goals.

 

Fundraising Assets helps busy fundraising professionals raise more money, save valuable time and reduce costs. We offer consulting, writing, design and production services for direct mail and e-mail fundraising, social networking and more.

32 Comments »

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    Do you have tips for projecting results?

    Comment by Julie Rinard — March 16, 2010 @ 6:39 PM

  2. 2

    Great question, Julie!

    Response is contingent upon the power and emotion of the letter. Timing
    can affect response, either positively or negatively. A matching gift can increase response. Having said that, here are some general guidelines:

    Current donors should respond to an appeal at a rate of 8 – 12%.

    Recent lapsed donors, special event participants and in-kind donors
    should respond at a rate of 3 – 6%.

    Long lapsed and acquisition donors should respond at a rate of .5 – 1.5%.

    I hope you find that helpful. Feel free to contact me if you’d like more information.

    Tom Harter
    Partner
    [email protected]
    1-888-244-4013

    Comment by Tom Harter — March 17, 2010 @ 3:32 PM

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