Keep it simple.
Between work and personal email, texts and tweets, it’s a wonder our eyes have any energy left for our postal mail. So, give those tired peepers a break and keep your direct mail pieces attractive and interesting to read. No fancy or intricate fonts; no crazy color combinations; no murky photos shot by an amateur. Make your mailings eye-catching in a classy way. In the words of fashion designer Giorgio Armani, “Elegance is not standing out, but being remembered.”
Tell stories that touch.
People crave stories. As author Philip Pullman said, “After nourishment, shelter and companionship, stories are the thing we need most in the world.” A lot of nonprofits are hesitant to tell stories about the good they do — there’s no “designated writer” in the office or no one wants to intrude on the privacy of those that the organization benefits. Organizations that don’t have the time or staff to write stories can hire an outside firm to do the work for them. A hired, professional writer will spend time interviewing those who benefit from an organization’s work and then write their stories. Those who are concerned about intruding on privacy will typically find that people are thrilled and eager to share their story, especially when doing so will help the organization that helped them.
Be specific about needs.
Asking for financial support is like asking for a hand when you are hanging on the side of a cliff — it’s no time to beat around the bush. Be direct about what you need and how you plan to use what you receive.
Stay in touch.
Sometimes we think we are being pests, but if you want ongoing support from donors, you have to be in frequent touch with them. Granted, you want to do that in different ways — the same fundraising appeal, month after month, will wear on anyone. There are many ways to keep in touch: thank-you cards, special events, newsletters, phone calls, annual reports, and of course, fundraising appeals
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