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When I created the pictured meme and posted it on LinkedIn, I had no idea how popular it would turn out to be. I just thought it would be a shared frustration between myself and a few fellow fundraisers. Now, with over 10,000 views and several hundred reactions, the response far surpassed any other LinkedIn article or post I’ve ever done. Obviously, it struck a chord. So what prompted me to make this meme? It came after working on several end-of-financial-year appeals for Australian charities. A few were new clients this year and almost all of them reported difficulties with some or all of the following:
Yesterday, Australia Post announced letter delivery would be reduced to once every two days in metro areas. Along with current delays due to the increase in online shopping parcels, this will obviously affect direct mail to donors. It’s probably too difficult to move forward deadlines for first waves of tax appeals now but consider moving forward second wave deadlines by at least a week. Before corona, if your mailing was due to hit letterboxes on a Wednesday, you could expect most people in metros areas to receive it by the end of the week or by the following Monday at the latest. Now, to be safe, I would suggest allowing at least a week.
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.
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.
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.
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...

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