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Booster Shot for the Annual Appeal

Have you sent your holiday appeal to your donors? I don’t know about you, but I like to get the gift request out the door around Thanksgiving time. This is a most busy time: nonprofits all over tarnation are out asking their donors to give, and to please give a bit more this year because, of course, the need is a bit more.
But who needs what?
Nonprofits I work with hear from me this constant refrain: make the ask about the people you are helping. About the mission and how your community benefit organization is delivering that mission in a tangible way to your primary customers. The appeal should be all about the people benefiting from your service. Not about the poor, struggling nonprofit. Uh uh.
A few helpful tips as you Ready, Set, Ask:
HOW ARE YOU MAKING LIVES BETTER? Connect the donors and their $$ to the value you are adding to life.
ENCLOSE RETURN SLIP so your donor can indicate which of the options you present: a range of dollar amounts that include last year’s gift amount plus two or three “step up” gift amounts.
NEED MORE INFORMATION? is a question that needs to appear on the response slip, offering three or four kinds of things you are doing that might be of interest, and keep the communication going after the gift is made.
THANK YOU’S READY TO GO so when the donations arrive, you are able to respond within a 24 – 48 hour timeframe with your note of appreciaton.
DONATE BUTTON ON YOUR WEBSITE a good idea to reference in your mail appeal so those who are more inclined to give online can do so. Average online gifts are higher than via snail mail.
PLAN YOUR FOLLOW UP so right after the first of the year, you can write to donors who didn’t give this time around and ask them to please consider helping now.
If you’d like more ideas, please get in touch: s.p.99smith@gmail.com.
All the best to you, your nonprofit leadership team, and the fine work you do delivering your mission to people who count on you.

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