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Category: Direct mail

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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.
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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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Ask yourself this. What type of communications is really driving your fundraising? Because if you’re serious about raising funds – as opposed to raising awareness or educating people – then you need to be incorporating tried and tested direct response techniques into your appeals.
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I am utterly swamped with tax appeal work currently but when the mail came in today, I took a quick look to see if anything stood out. The image above shows the pile of envelopes I received today... and at the bottom are the envelopes that caught my eye. Those are the ones I immediately opened.
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Will you make your tax appeal target? One week out from 30 June and I’m checking in with the charities I work with to see where fundraising income is up to for their tax appeals. So where is YOUR non-profit up to? At this point, if you’re not up to at least 50% of your tax appeal target, I can pretty confidently say you won’t reach it. (Please see the disclaimer below though.) Personally, I prefer it if my fundraising clients are closer to 70% at this point. But yes, if you run a standard direct mail tax appeal to your house file… it’s fairly common for 30-50% of donations to come in during the last week before June 30.
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I’ve heard many a fundraiser bemoan the fact that they don’t do one of the three Cs. Cute animals. Children. Cancer. Let’s face it, it’s easier to raise funds for these kinds of causes. This post is about what to do when your cause is the worst kind of unsexy…
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