How NOT to write a fundraising letter

Fundraising Coach

Have you ever written a fundraising letter? A fundraising letter you felt really proud about? And I bet your fundraising letter hardly raised any money. Writing fundraising letters is hard. I know writing fundraising letters is hard.

Are your letters to major donors and donor prospects any good?

iMarketSmart

Long live one-to-one, highly relevant, personalized communications— including direct mail letters! Direct mail letters are powerful because, when done right, they make donors feel good. I’ll bet you have rarely (if ever) read the letters your co-worker’s sent to their portfolio of donors. Plus I’ve never seen any training offered to teach fundraisers how to write effective letters to their major donors. Direct mail is NOT dead!

Letter 100

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Appeal Letter Writing 101

Ann Green

While your donors will be receiving a multitude of appeal letters, many organizations seem to go on autopilot and send a generic, boring appeal. Let’s get back to basics with a little appeal letter writing 101. First, you need to get your donors to open your letter. Start your letter with a compelling story. Include an engaging color photo in your letter or on your pledge form. Don’t make your letter all about your organization.

How NOT to write a letter to your supporter community

iMarketSmart

Here’s an old letter from my alma mater. Although this letter is meant for the “community” (non-donors and donors), this is NOT how you should ever address people. What a dud of a letter! Learn how to write appeal letters to major donors that raise money. The post How NOT to write a letter to your supporter community appeared first on MarketSmart | .

Letter 126

Turning Lame Letters into Donor Delight

Kivi's Nonprofit Communications Blog

Fundraising Guest Bloggers Nonprofit Communications Thank-You LettersWe've Moved! Update your Reader Now. This feed has moved to: [link] Update your reader now with this changed subscription address to get your latest updates from us. We've Moved! Update your Reader Now. This feed has moved to: [link] Update your reader now with this changed subscription address to get your latest updates from us.

Letter 211

Losing Donors Because of Bad Thank You Letters?

Kivi's Nonprofit Communications Blog

Did you know that the quality of your thank you letters can determine whether your donor gives again? Thank-you letters are incredibly important in turning a first-time donor into a life-long giver. Sending a thank you letter to your donors is not just the polite thing to do. Nonprofit thank you letters need to be thought of as a very important, highly strategic piece of communication. Writing Thank You Letters That Inspire Future Gifts. Thank-You Letters

Letter 189

Tips for Better Nonprofit Thank You Letters

Kivi's Nonprofit Communications Blog

I received a very business-like form letter, really just slightly better than a receipt, in response to a recent charitable donation. What I should have received instead is a warm, welcoming thank you letter. Sending out really good thank you letters is an incredibly savvy marketing strategy, simply because so many other nonprofits are doing it so badly. Here are some tips on doing thank yous right: Nonprofit Thank You Letter Dos and Don’ts.

Letter 210

4 More Clever Ways to Improve Your Thank You Letters

Kivi's Nonprofit Communications Blog

They write the letter, but you send it. Or ask board members to send a separate hand-written thank you note or even an email, as a follow-up to your “official” thank you letter. Fill out the form below to get 20 Dos and Don’ts of Nonprofit Thank You Letters. Thank-You LettersAs we mentioned last week, first-time donor retention is a measly 19%. You can do so much better with just a few small changes.

Letter 169

A Tool from the Vault – Simple Solicitation Letters

A Small Change

How long was your last solicitation letter? If you are like many non-profits today you probably said, “my letter was a page and a half, I told the donor all about my administrative rate, why they should give, how it will help them, what the program they are giving to is, what the program does, where their money went, where there money will go, how many people we serve, etc.” You cannot say everything in one solicitation or thank you letter.

Letter 157

5 Clever Ways to Improve Your Thank Your Letters

Kivi's Nonprofit Communications Blog

Donors want something quite simple: a prompt, meaningful thank you letter and additional communication that explains how the donation was used. Write a Greeting Card, Not a Business Letter. Forget “On behalf of” or “Thank you for” and start your letters with a more creative and personal opening. Including photos, either in the body of the letter or stuffed in the envelope, will make an instant connection between your donor and your work. Thank-You Letters

Letter 159

Appeal Letter Do’s and Don’ts

Ann Green

We’ll start with some examples of what not to do and end with a couple of letters that got it right. You can use the term annual fund drive around the office, but keep it out of your appeal letter. I receive many appeal letters from organizations I don’t support. One letter addressed me as Mrs.Green, which irked me because I don’t like being referred to as Mrs. I don’t know why this organization addressed me as Mrs. because I always check the Ms.

How to ensure that your letter signer will sign your fundraising letter even if he/she doesn’t like it

iMarketSmart

I’ll skip to the end and tell you how: Set some ground rules with whoever you ask to sign your fundraising letter. Usually, a letter signer won’t sign a fundraising letter for the following reasons: a. the letter is long, has too many underlines, funky bold lettering, etc). To ensure that your signer will sign the letter you’ve got to politely set some ground rules as follows: GROUND RULE #1: It isn’t about the signer.

Letter 116

Barth Syndrome Foundation Thank You Letter: Before and After

Kivi's Nonprofit Communications Blog

Nonprofit Communications Thank-You LettersWe've Moved! Update your Reader Now. This feed has moved to: [link] Update your reader now with this changed subscription address to get your latest updates from us. We've Moved! Update your Reader Now. This feed has moved to: [link] Update your reader now with this changed subscription address to get your latest updates from us.

Letter 202

Dos and Don’ts for Nonprofit Thank You Letters [FREE Download]

Kivi's Nonprofit Communications Blog

Sending a thank you letter to your donors is not just the polite thing to do. Nonprofit thank you letters need to be thought of as a very important, highly strategic piece of communication. With that in mind, we recently updated our nonprofit thank you letters resource page to include tips and advice based on your personal experience with writing thank you letters. Fundraising Nonprofit Communications Thank-You Letters

Letter 207

8 Great Ways to End Emails or Letters

iMarketSmart

The post 8 Great Ways to End Emails or Letters appeared first on MarketSmart | . Cultivation starts and ends with great communication. Goodbyes are just as important as hellos. So here are some great ways to end emails you send to donors: 1. First name], I’m really counting on you! First name], when you look back on this moment, you’ll be so glad you [mission-oriented copy here]. First name], this is your chance to make a huge impact on [mission-oriented copy here].

Email 138

Are Your E-Letters Connecting?

Social Media Bird Brain

"Letters" Image by *madalena-pestana* mostly away via FlickrI'm sorry I've been gone so long; I didn't mean to be. While I was away from this blog, I got an e-letter from one of the local nonprofits. Tags: open letter to the community small nonprofits plea letter e-letter nonprofits But as John Lennon's song put it, "Life is what happens when you're busy making other plans."While

Letter 100

The Annotated Thank You Letter Template

Social Media Bird Brain

You all have what you need for a great letter, but the organization of the information is sometimes hard to nail down. This week I've put together a template for a thank you letter and commented on what I think each of the sections is meant to accomplish. donation thank you gratitude e-letter Small nonprofit writingThe Template Dear [name] Believe or not, the salutation can be a thorny subject. I worked for a Development Director who insisted that we.

Nonprofit Thank You Letters – 3 I Love

Kivi's Nonprofit Communications Blog

The standard, boring, impersonal form letter or email receipt doesn’t cut it. P.S. Here are some more posts on writing thank you letters. The standard, boring, impersonal form letter or email receipt doesn’t cut it. Nonprofit Communications Thank-You Letters

Letter 201

Duplicate Solicitation Letters

A Small Change

There is a significant amount of overlap between donors who receive solicitation letters, and donors who become fans of your Facebook Page. (In Don’t send your solicitation letter at the same time as you send your Facebook update and email announcements. If you send off a letter, and a week later follow it up with an email, then the email acts as a reminder.

Letter 111

A 2-step fundraising letter audit

Fundraising Coach

Pull out your most recent fundraising letter. ” If the green is more prominent than the red, you’re writing your fundraising letters correctly. Other Possibly Related posts: Start your year-end fundraising letter strategy today! Using Twitter and Facebook in your year-end fundraising letter strategy. Fundraising letter for acquisition mailing. Love (Stewardship) fundraising letters

Week of Freebies! Dos and Don’ts for Nonprofit Thank You Letters

Kivi's Nonprofit Communications Blog

Our free download, 20 Dos and Don’ts for Nonprofit Thank You Letters , will tell you what you should (and shouldn’t) do when creating your thank yous for your donors. Nonprofit Communications Thank-You Letters Happy Holidays! We love our readers and think you deserve some goodies. This week, we are highlighting downloads and resources from Nonprofit Marketing Guide that are all FREE. .

Letter 196

8 Great Ways to End Your Emails or Letters

iMarketSmart

I thought I’d see how many powerful ways I could end an email or letter in 10 minutes. The post 8 Great Ways to End Your Emails or Letters appeared first on MarketSmart. Ready… Go! First name], I’m really counting on you! First name], when you look back on this moment, you’ll be so glad you [mission-oriented copy here]. First name], this is your chance to make a huge impact on [mission-oriented copy here].

Letter 149

Throw statistics out of your fundraising letters!

Fundraising Coach

Often our fundraising letters or newsletters look like this: We shook 2031 hands and fed 62 children and fixed 423 sashes with a 97.3% This week, review the rest of this year’s fundraising letters and see about removing analytical words. Other Possibly Related posts: Fundraising Secret #33: Include a donation form link in your email fundraising letters. 3 more contrarian tips for writing successful fundraising letters. Ask Fundraising Secrets fundraising letter

The Purpose of a Thank You Letter is to Thank Your Donors

Ann Green

You would think the purpose of a thank you letter is to thank your donors, but way too many of them have barely an ounce of gratitude. Don’t shortchange your donors with a lame, generic thank you letter. At the very least, your donors should get a letter, even if they’ve donated online. Write an amazing letter. If it’s impossible to send handwritten notes or make phone calls, you can still impress your donors with an amazing thank you letter.

What impression does your Thank-You letter make?

Get Fully Funded

The first sentence of your Thank-You letter is your first impression with your donor in acknowledging their gift. How do you mess up the first line of a Thank-You letter? If your letter sounds like that, it’s time to change it! How do you start your letter off on the right foot? Imagine a letter that starts like this: “We needed you and you were there.” And your well-written, warm letter will give them that reassurance. .

The 6 most read parts of any major gift solicitation letter

iMarketSmart

I’m always a bit baffled when I see fundraising letters that fail to take into consideration the following. Here are the 6 most read parts of any major gift solicitation letter: The sender (firstly, the donor wants to see who sent the letter). Any underlined, bolded or highlighted copy (so they can skim the letter easily for convenience). The post The 6 most read parts of any major gift solicitation letter appeared first on MarketSmart | .

Letter 133

The 4 Key Qualities of Amazing Thank You Letters

Fundraising 123

Put your donors – and your thank you process – first this year by including these four key components for effective and memorable donor thank you letters. Take the time to customize your thank you letters. Don’t look at sending out thank you letters as drudgery – use it as an opportunity to be creative and connect with your donors. As you write your thank you letters, imagine all of the good you do with the donor in the center.

Letter 167

Do You Need an Appeal Letter Refresher Course?

Ann Green

You may have noticed an influx of appeal letters over the last few weeks. What’s not fine is the mediocre letters I see. Some of these organizations need a refresher course in appeal letter writing. Okay, you can use the term annual appeal around the office, but not in your appeal letter. Some of the letters I received opened by saying their annual fund drive is underway. And you can always try to woo back some of your lapsed donors with a personalized letter.

Is your fundraising letter as effective as this bag of coffee?

Fundraising Coach

Is your fundraising letter as good? Are you writing your fundraising letters this persuasively? Do donors say "wow" after reading your letter or your nonprofit's thank you? There's still time to tweak some of your year end fundraising letters, emails, and your nonprofit's web copy. The post Is your fundraising letter as effective as this bag of coffee? I like reading obscure things: prefaces to books, notes on receipts, credits after movies.

9 simple pointers for writing better emails and letters to your donors

iMarketSmart

Recommendations: >> How to write letters that raise money. >> How NOT to write a letter to your supporter community. The post 9 simple pointers for writing better emails and letters to your donors appeared first on MarketSmart | . I failed to get into business school. I hoped to be a business major at the University of Maryland in the 80’s. But my ability to read, comprehend and recapitulate the institution’s business lessons was not so good.

Email 142

How to Write a Letter to the Editor that Gets Published and Read (Case Study)

Getting Attention

Mila Rosenthal, Executive Director of HealthRight International , is a Letter to the Editor (LOE) expert with a significant record of success. Read on to review her most recent success — a strong, concise, pointed Letter to the Editor of The New Yorker – and Rosenthal’s tips for your own efforts. Here are Rosenthal’s tips for your Letters to the Editor: Identify which type of Letter to the Editor you are writing.

Letters or In-Person Solicitations

A Small Change

When do you send out a letter, and when do you meet with someone in person? What is your cut off for asking for a gift in person versus in a letter? Related posts: Annual Board Solicitations Sample Solicitation Semantics Simple Solicitation Letters Eloquence in Equivalencies To Measure or Not to Measure. We only have so much time every day as development professionals, so we need to make sure our time is well used.

Letter 113

How to Create an Awesome Appeal Letter

Ann Green

Many of you are getting ready for your year-end appeal, and the cornerstone of your campaign is your appeal letter. You want to create an awesome letter that captures your donors’ attention right away and convinces them to donate. Here are some ways to ensure a successful letter. First, you need to get your donor to open your letter. Start your letter with a compelling story. Include an engaging color photo in your letter or on your pledge form.

What impression does your Thank-You letter make?

Get Fully Funded

The first sentence of your Thank-You letter is your first impression with your donor in acknowledging their gift. How do you mess up the first line of a Thank-You letter? If your letter sounds like that, it’s time to change it! How do you start your letter off on the right foot? Imagine a letter that starts like this: “We needed you and you were there.” And your well-written, warm letter will give them that reassurance. .

An Open Letter to My Conservative Readers

Kivi's Nonprofit Communications Blog

In the last 24 hours, two of my favorite nonprofit marketing bloggers who I admire as colleagues and love as friends had the same experience: a reader admonished them for using examples from pro-choice organizations in their blogs and e-newsletters. The readers threatened to unsubscribe in both cases to protest what they saw as abortion advocacy.

Letter 206

3 Tips for Effective Fundraising Letters

Fundraising Coach

But I haven’t sent one specifically on writing fundraising letters! Fundraising letters are a basic staple of fundraising. And even with social media getting all the press, fundraising letters are what is still faithfully bringing in money for nonprofits. Here are 3 tips for fundraising letters: Mail multiple times. I’ve heard of nonprofits having success with a 13 letter-per-year system, but that was always beyond my ability to consider managing!

Create and use a “next level” Thank-You letter

Get Fully Funded

If you’re like most nonprofit folks, you give little thought to your Thank-You letter. At some point, you wrote the letter, and now you use it for every donor, every time. Your Thank-You letter is one of the most important pieces of communication you have with your donors. If you use the same old boring, stale letter, it’s time to take it to the next level. Here are a few tips for creating a next-level Thank-You letter.

Letter 133

Week of Freebies, Day 4: Dos and Don’ts for Nonprofit Thank You Letters

Kivi's Nonprofit Communications Blog

Our free download, 20 Dos and Don’ts for Nonprofit Thank You Letters , will tell you what you should (and shouldn’t) do when creating your thank yous for your donors. The post Week of Freebies, Day 4: Dos and Don’ts for Nonprofit Thank You Letters appeared first on Kivi's Nonprofit Communications Blog. Happy Holidays! It’s that time of year where we show our readers some love with some FREE goodies. .

Letter 141

Handwritten Letters

The Agitator

Handwritten letters … what a concept! That’s why recently I’ve been highly conscious of handwritten letters." " He goes on to describe some handwritten letters he’s recently received and their impact on him. None of us would doubt the ability of a handwritten letter to cut through the clutter. And yes, there are firms that "mass produce" handwritten fundraising and lead generation letters.

Should Your Direct Mail Appeal Letters Be Kept to One Page?

Kivi's Nonprofit Communications Blog

During our direct mail appeal letter training , we invariably get asked about appeal letter length: How many pages should our letter be? But the length of the letter is NOT your primary concern … and boards often don’t see that. They ASSUME that a 1-page letter is the BEST. That a 2-page letter does worse. And a 4-page letter does even worse.

How to write effective fundraising letters

Fundraising Coach

In writing up a project for a client, I drafted this short reminder on how to write effective fundraising letters. The letter is personalized. Not having those increases the chances the letter will be tossed without being read. It’s a fundraising letter so don’t put lots of “the weather here is such & such.” Don’t overdo it, but help your reader skim the letter. The good thing is, the letters don’t need to be radically different.

Create and use a “next level” Thank-You letter

Get Fully Funded

If you’re like most nonprofit folks, you give little thought to your Thank-You letter. At some point, you wrote the letter, and now you use it for every donor, every time. Your Thank-You letter is one of the most important pieces of communication you have with your donors. If you use the same old boring, stale letter, it’s time to take it to the next level. Here are a few tips for creating a next-level Thank-You letter.

Letter 124

Writing Fundraising Letters: What Should You Consider?

Fundraiser Ideas

In simple terms, this means that of fifty fundraising letters sent only one produces a positive response from its recipient. By incorporating the following proven strategies into your direct mail fundraising campaign, it is possible to improve your return on investment on these fundraising letters (and your time) and enhance the reputation of your organization simultaneously. The average direct mail campaign achieves a two percent success rate.

Letter 131