Funding Change Consulting Blog Advice

One last pitch for “year-end” gifts

Hello my dear readers, and welcome to 2018…

Despite all evidence to the contrary, I have not forgotten you. As you may (or may not) have heard, I’ve transitioned my e-newsletter over to a blog. My goal is to offer you advice more frequently and in a shorter, more accessible format.

I’m hoping this will make it easier for you to digest what I send and easier for me to share ideas and resources with you. Rest assured, I won’t be appearing in your inbox every day. Just a few times a month.

My advice for you today is this… Run a report of everyone who gave to your year-end campaign in 2016 but didn’t give at all in 2017. Fundraising jargon would dub these your LYBNT (last year but not this) donors but I hope it goes without saying that we don’t address these lovely supporters at LYBNTs.

Your task is to send this group of donors a letter before the end of the January (mid-month is ideal). 

My typical letter is one page and includes about six paragraphs as well as the requisite salutation and sign-off…

  • Paragraph 1:  A casual, one-sentence opener that warmly greets the reader.
  • Paragraph 2:  Two to three sentences explaining the reason for your letter…namely, that you’re writing about their support because they gave in 2016 but not in 2017.
  • Paragraph 3:  This is where you acknowledge how easy it to forget if you’ve given, how quickly time passes, etc.
  • Paragraph 4:  Now it’s time to convey the importance of their support, why you need them, and their impact as a donor.
  • Paragraph 5:  Before you close, invite the donor to contact you if they stopped giving because of anything you did (or didn’t do). Express your desire for feedback and provide direct email and phone numbers where you can be reached.
  • Paragraph 6: Close by telling them how to donate (for example, by returning the enclosed envelope or visiting a specific URL). And of course, thank them in advance for their support.

You get bonus points if you make phone calls to follow-up on these letters.

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