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[Word Wise] A Simple Year-End Appeal Plan
October 24, 2012

Word Wise Newsletter

Helping You and Your Organization Get Powerful Results With Words

Volume 8, Number 2 ... ISSN: 1933-9690

Dear fellow writers and strategists,

Welcome back to Word Wise! Once or twice a month, we’ll send you this newsletter packed with practical and useful information you can use in copywriting for your small business or nonprofit – whether you’re a marketing professional, nonprofit leader, or copywriting newbie.

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Feature: A Simple Year-End Appeal Plan

Nonprofits receive about 40% of all their individual gifts during the last quarter of the calendar year. But those checks don’t simply magically materialize in your mailbox.

You need to ask for them.

There is still time to plan a year-end appeal strategy, even if don’t have one yet. Take these few simple steps to put a simple plan into place.

What you need

  • Your house email list
  • Your house mailing list
  • Your account with an email list manager (such as Constant Contact)
  • Your website (with Donate capability)

What to do and when
Select a focus. Choose a specific project or mission focus around which to build your year-end appeal. Donors like to know where their money is going, why it’s so important to fund a particular project, and what their gift will accomplish. Your year-end series will revolve around this project or focus. (Note that “general budget” or “operating expenses” doesn’t excite your donors.) Your year-end appeal gifts could benefit your after-school mentoring program … a new wing for the men’s shelter … weekend staffing in the pet shelter …

Send Email #1.
Write and send an email appeal focused around your project, featuring the story of someone who benefited from it. Perhaps you can even have the beneficiary write a thank you to donors (or, with her permission, write it in her voice.) Tie together the project and the beneficiary’s gratitude – very appropriate for Thanksgiving – with a soft Ask that explains …( read the rest of the steps to take for a terrific year-end appeal series …)

Fun (and Helpful) Nonprofit Tips and Trends

How Americans Really Feel About Giving

  • 7 in 10 say they expect to donate about the same or more this year
  • 68% say that because of the economy, it’s important for individuals to give to charity
  • 4 in 5 say that helping someone less fortunate is an important part of their holiday traditions

Data courtesy of the American Red Cross

More nonprofit copywriting tips for year-end appeals

What Your Appeal Letter Must Have Using Online Appeals to Snag Year-End Gifts Your Year-End Appeal Fundraising Checklist How to Identify a Matching Gift Donor for Year End

Finally … A Wise Word

"From what we get, we can make a living; what we give, however, makes a life."
Arthur Ashe (1943-1993): tennis champion (3 Grand Slam titles, 800 career victories), sports commentator, activist

That’s it for now. See you next time!

Until then, happy writing!

Kathy with Nonprofit Copywriter
Email me with your comments and questions!

P.S. Invite friends and colleagues to subscribe to Word Wise. Forward this issue or send them a link to Nonprofit Copywriter where they can sign up.

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