The ticket to success in direct mail fundraising is letting your donors know what a difference they can make.
Not what a good organization you are.
Not what fine work you do.
Not the nice things that other people say about you.
There are other times to tell them that, and you should.
All year, throughout your communications calendar, there are plenty of opportunities for you to share success stories and testimonials. Your newsletter, blog, email, social media…all those are good platforms for convincing people that when they gave to you before, they did the right thing.
If you’ve waited until you’re asking for money again, it’s too late!
When you send out an appeal letter to your current donors, they should already have the best impression of you in mind.
Now, it’s time to answer one simple question: “If I donate now, what will happen?”
Make the Impact of the Gift Feel Real
Partners in Health knows from their donor database that I typically donate $50/year. So, when they asked me to renew, they told me that my gift of $50 can
help provide lifesaving, ready-to-use therapeutic food to start malnutrition treatment for a child in need.
But they didn’t just tell me. They made the impact feel real.
Along with a well-written appeal letter, in the envelope, PIH enclosed four “Treatment Delivery Tickets.” Each one looked like this:
This is a little different from the usual reply card!
For one thing, it asks for my signature, which makes it feel more like I made a personal decision and a commitment.
For another thing, PIH nudged me toward giving 2-4X my usual amount.
They avoided giving me a range of amounts to give (50, 100, 150, 200, other), which is what everyone does. Instead, they made me handle each card and decide how many of them to put in with my check…and how many to throw away.
Throwing away a “treatment delivery ticket” feels awful. It makes me picture a child who doesn’t get food unless I help.
On the other hand, signing four cards and putting them all in the envelope with my check makes me feel like a hero. (Even if I go online to make my donation, I will linger over those cards, and they will stay in my mind for a long time afterwards.)
Has your organization put anything like these tickets into your donors’ hands? If the answer is “Not yet,” then what can you do to make the impact of their donation real to them?