PRG Managing Associate Melissa Irish
The end of the calendar year is still one of the best times to raise money. Here are PRG’s top six tried and true approaches to increase your ROI.
1. Find your hero – The most effective appeals help readers understand why your organization matters. Find that one story—one client—that shows the power and impact of your mission. Craft the story to echo the highlights from your past year, and hint what’s coming in the next. Keep your message real and personal. Use images and words that have emotional impact.
2. Ride the wave – People are tuned into social, economic and political issues more than ever before. Government decisions are impacting lives. The media is giving you a lift by bringing issues to the forefront. As much as you can, ride the wave and speak to what is on everyone’s minds. This will position your impact within a larger context.
3. Speak to the heart, satisfy the mind – This is a universal fundraising axiom. Your hero story will inspire your readers and move them into action. But let’s face it, we still live in our heads. Provide just enough facts and figures to prove your claim of transformation and impact.
4. Challenge your donors – We all want our donation to go further—to know our dollar can unlock two or three more. Take the time to find a donor, or donors, who will make a gift as a challenge to others. It usually increases their giving, and inspires those receiving the appeal to give more. That’s what we call a win-win.
5. Make it personal – Don’t we all want to feel special, like we matter, like we’ve been seen? It’s not realistic to write an individual letter to each donor, but you can segment your lists to make the message feel more personal. Some basic segments you can target:
– programs of interest
– new donor prospect
– current donor
– long-time/loyal donor
– lapsed donor
– major donor
6. Be touchy – Think of your year-end appeal as a multi-platform campaign, with multiple touches over three to four months. For example, in September and October, use a combination of your Facebook page, website, live events, email and print media to introduce your hero and educate your donors about the problem you’re tackling.
In November, make your ask. Then in December, make it again and then one more time! Don’t forget about a December 30 email reminder. People are busy so be the squeaky wheel.
Contact us with your questions and challenges. We’re ready to help.