If you’re on track with your year-end calendar, it’s probably already fall at your office – which means that reading blogs isn’t exactly on the top of your priority list.
Here then is a quick list of some of the most important things not to do this fall.
- Don’t focus an appeal on your organization’s anniversary, or your founder’s birthday. Talk about your mission, the people you help, and the people who make your work possible.
- Don’t be all me, me, me (or us, us, us). Your appeals should be about what your donor has accomplished and will accomplish with her support.
- Don’t write a one-page letter because your boss says she doesn’t read long letters. Don’t be afraid of a four-page letter (or longer, if you need it).
- Don’t write for yourself … or your Board.
- Don’t write by committee.
- Don’t say “Dear Friend” if you don’t have to.
- Don’t have dual signers (in most cases). Do have a consistent voice.
- Don’t ask again before saying “Thank you” for a previous gift. Remember that a receipt is not an acknowledgment.
- Don’t spend a lot on full color, fancy design or special printing. Do invest in elements likely to lift response, like more personalization and first class postage for your best donors.
- Don’t forget who your best donors are. Your current donors are your best ones – not your prospects. The donor who just gave to you is most likely to give again. Focus your resources here.
- Don’t be intimidated by writing your appeals. After all, it’s the thing you love – talking about the great work you’re doing to the people who already understand and support you.
- Don’t send your appeals late. Late appeals affect response. Remember, 90% perfect, 100% on time.
- Don’t sacrifice your fundraising to your brand. Your brand is about you. Fundraising is about your donors.
- Don’t worry about things that are not response-affecting. Don’t we have enough to worry about already?
Is there anything else we should be reminding you? Share your fall fundraising tips below.