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Category: Donor communications

corona_2
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Right now, I’m working on adaptations to charity appeal messaging due to the coronavirus. I know that many charities are struggling with finding the right words to address the pandemic in their communications. Hence I’ve put together some ideas around communications re the coronavirus. It’s a bit rough and ready but you’ll get the general idea.
coronavirus
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I've been in discussions with charities all morning about adapting upcoming appeals in light of the coronavirus. I’m hearing about events cancelled, charity staff moving to work from home, questions about how to process donations if everyone is working remotely. What nobody is talking about is cancelling direct mail appeals. Which is a good thing even if you don’t raise as much as you normally would.
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Fundraising copywriting is one of those professions that everyone thinks they can do better than the person trained in fundraising copywriting. I’ve been writing fundraising copy for long enough to now need training on how not to do eye rolls when I get ill-informed feedback on our work. (Note I said ill-informed feedback - I welcome feedback that corrects factual errors or makes the creative stronger.) Seasoned fundraisers know the type of thing I mean.
Thank you!
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Six weeks after the end of financial year and we finally have all the tax receipts for the donations we made. But it was a hard slog getting them all. What was plain to me is that many charities have terrible donation follow up and thanking procedures. In some cases, it took well over a month for us to receive gift receipts. Is the gift receipt a thank you? Yes it is! And if it’s not, it should be. Multiple thanks never goes astray. You should thank a donor at least once in every communication. Below are some of the issues we encountered...
Part 2: You’re forcing me to do WHAT to donate?
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This is the follow up to the original post on how you’re losing web donations. Given we were only halfway through all our donating for the (now) last financial year when I wrote the first article, I thought I’d follow up with other awful things your charities are doing or making us do when it comes to giving you our money
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As a fundraiser, I’ve seen outrage of a different sort when it comes to the controversy over Israel Folau’s fundraising effort. Many people responded to the $1 million plus raised for Folau, saying this sum could fund any number of other worthwhile causes. This includes assistance for: children in detention on Manus, meals for the homeless, mosquito nets to prevent malaria, medical costs for a family who have lost a child, and numerous other needs deemed more urgent than the legal costs of an already wealthy rugby player. From a purely fundraising perspective, what is apparent to me is this:
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It came in a cute, non-DLX envelope. Greeting card sized.It was printed on smaller than A4, stationery-sized paper.It started with a lovely thank you.Then it was RUINED by personalisation gone wrong. This sentence:Will you give a gift to the Where Most Needed Fund to help meet these needs?I couldn’t help laughing. Now there may well be some charities with an official “Where Most Needed Fund”. But I’m guessing that this non-profit tried to personalise this sweet, little letter by incorporating the name of the last project, item or appeal to which the donor gave.And it would have worked wonderfully if the donor had previously donated to anything specific. Then it would have rendered as...
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