'Tis the Season for Giving: 6 Ways to Make the Most of Your Fundraising Appeals
The season of giving is upon us. It’s the perfect time for your nonprofit organization to think about direct mail fundraising appeals! November 27th is Giving Tuesday, a holiday created amongst all the shopping hubbub to remind folks to give back to charitable organizations. Massachusetts is saturated with great causes looking for fundraising and you want to make sure yours stands out.
Here are some way to make the most of your nonprofit direct mailing appeals this holiday season:
1). Give Them The Feels
Why do people donate to fundraisers in the first place? Because they feel connected to what your nonprofit organization stands for. Avoid using jargon that the average person isn’t likely to emotionally respond to. Use your nonprofit appeal to remind them of the human connection by providing a personal story of how donations like theirs can (and have) helped! Maybe you have a volunteer who made a great difference, or a recipient of your assistance whose life was changed. Maybe you were able to preserve some natural wildlife that hikers were able to enjoy, or helped the population of New England’s most endangered bird bounce back for generations to enjoy. Introduce the characters in your story and invite the reader in with compelling details.
2.) Include the Reader
It all starts with YOU. It turns out that “you” is a very important word when it comes to your direct mail fundraiser. You’ve told your story, but the reader needs to understand the part they play. They’re not simply some third party standing by and watching change occur. Let them know that when they donate to your nonprofit, they are active in the story as it unfolds. Furthermore, you can never overdo it when letting your donors know how wonderful and appreciated they are for getting involved. Your organization is fantastic, but a direct mail appeal is about your donors and how great they are! So when creating your nonprofit direct mailing, include a generous use of y-o-u!
3). Give a Nudge with Incentive
Getting potential donors motivated is tricky. Most people want to help, but they are unsure where to start. Showing what others have given can actually be quite effective. You may also consider breaking down exactly how far each donation amount can go. For example, “a $50 donation can buy enough books for five kids,” or “a $100 donation will get one shelter dog vaccinated.” Try including some levels in your nonprofit appeal by offering memberships, free gifts, gifts of honor, keepsakes, personalized updates, or donation matching. And hey, it doesn’t hurt to remind donors that when they give to your nonprofit fundraiser, their donations are tax-deductible!
4). Make Your Direct Mail… Well, Direct
As experts in direct mail, we can vouch for the fact that convenience is very important. You’ve got all kinds of busy folks and speed readers on your targeted mailing list. Make sure your nonprofit direct mailing gets through to all of them. Consider what is MOST important for you to say. Include underlining, bullet points, and bold type to emphasize the key points in your appeal. Even with this in mind, you still want your direct mail to convey that your nonprofit is a professional organization. So make sure your fundraising appeal is grammatically sound and avoid using fragments or being too informal.
5). Depart from What’s Expected.
Remember that your donors see the same types of mailings for charitable organizations all the time. For all the thought you put into writing and preparing your nonprofit appeals, the reader will probably finish it in a few seconds! So make those few seconds count. Use your nonprofit direct mail appeal to make your donors and potential donors think. Is there an interesting anecdote about how your nonprofit organization had a ripple effect which created unexpected, positive change? Are there facts about your nonprofit organization or its subject which your readers may not have known about? Think outside the box and captivate your target audience.
6). Put Your Appeal in Capable Hands
Using a professional direct mailer to handle your nonprofit appeals is key. Whether you’re just getting started and aren’t sure how to establish your 501c3 benefits, or are seasoned in direct mail fundraisers, speaking to an expert in the business is invaluable. A professional mailing company will be able to answer all of your questions and ensure your piece is mailable at a great price. Professional mailing companies can also make sure your mailing list is up to date. There’s nothing worse than putting care and time into your fundraising appeal only to get mail kickbacks because of wrong addresses. A professional mailing company will have the capability to send your mailing list through an NCOA (national change of address) to ensure your appeals meet the right hands.
When you Need an Expert in Direct Mail Fundraising Appeals for Your Nonprofit, Call on CITYMAIL
We can answer any of your questions about nonprofit direct mailing. CITYMAIL’s quotes are highly adaptable to your needs. We’ll ensure that you make the most out of your nonprofit mailing benefits this holiday season and treat your direct mail campaign like our very own!