With the “season of giving” fast approaching, I figure it’s time to think about the tough part: asking. Appeal letter direct mailing campaigns are a key asset to fundraising for nonprofits, but it’s always a bit awkward asking for donations. The right campaign is a delicate balance between being present, but not bombarding your potential donors. Here are 3 major ways to improve your appeal letter campaign:
This might be the most important step in improving your mailing campaign. According to the NYU School of Law, 44% of direct mail is thrown away before it's even opened! Why? Because people can tell that you’re mailing in bulk, and to them bulk is junk. Make your letter more personal by using a real stamp instead of an indicia, because stamp = NOT junk. Autopen machines can handwrite addresses onto envelopes in bulk to give them an even more personal feel. Sure, it’ll take more time and raise costs, but in the end your hard work won’t be going straight the wastebasket. Also, use a teaser on the outer envelope to peak your recipient’s interest. A deadline stamped in red ink usually does the trick.
It’s what’s on the inside that counts, right? At this point, you’re probably a pro at writing the actual appeal letter. You know that you’re trying to connect with other people on a deep level to inspire the same passion that you have for your cause. An additional insert that details your vision can help others better understand your intentions. You can also use the insert to celebrate a milestone in your campaign. Don’t forget to include a remittance envelope in your package to make it easier for donors to donate.
We’re not just saying this because we’re in the business of direct mailing. Consistent direct mailings to your donors produce better results, but I DON’T recommend asking for money in every one of your mailings. Instead, keep your donors up to date on your ventures by using newsletters. When it comes to that time of the year, it’ll make your annual appeal feel much more natural to them. You know that friend or family member that you only hear from when they’re tight on cash? Yeah, don’t be that person.
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Post Written by Keenan Rice
Photos by Keenan Rice
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