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Prepare Your Board Now for Fall Annual Appeal

Summertime is the right time to get organized for your annual appeal.

Like most nonprofit organizations in this world, you will likely be sending snail mail and email to your donor list in November and December asking for donations in support of work that advances your mission.

As you look over that donor list this summer, I strongly recommend that you involve your Board of Directors in this process. You may have heard me sing this tune before. If so, that’s excellent. I consider this one of my greatest hits. And it’s on my blockbuster album so here we go again.

Get your Board involved. Have them scan your donor list for names they might recognize. They should write a personal note to your donors asking for the gift. Or call them directly, or email them, or go visit them with the return envelope. Whatever method works best for them. Have multiple approaches available, and keep track of which board member is reaching out to which donors in which method.

And follow up two weeks after the fact.

Remind your Board members that the campaign will kick off on which date, and that they should expect to receive materials to do their part a week in advance of campaign’s inception.

All clear?


You should expect AT LEAST a 10% spike in campaign results employing this method, and perhaps as much as a 30% increase in returns over the prior year if you haven’t used this approach before. Remember, too, to employ this tactic in your follow-up to non-responders.

Are we on the same page? Perfect! Let’s boost results by adding a personal touch to donors who have a connection to your Board members.

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