The end of the year is fast-approaching and this is the traditional non-profit appeal season. Here at Prospect Communications, we work closely with many organizations, planning and executing appeals, from the initial design through printing and mailing, web and email creation, and social media development. Here are three suggestions for building a stronger annual appeal:
Produce a Quality Product
Your annual appeal letter and supporting materials must read well and look great. Get your design, writing, editing and proofreading tasks done well before the season starts and give yourself enough time to produce a quality product. Great looking materials tell your story better and prompt more donors, prospects and volunteers to respond to your appeal.
Build Social Media into your Appeal Strategy
We live in a social media world. You have to reach out to potential donors with more than just a letter and a brochure. The 2015 Nonprofit Marketing guide reports that the most important communications channels, in order, are websites, email marketing, traditional social media, in-person events, print marketing, and media relations. The most successful appeals hit many of these marks.
Clearly you want to engage your donors in an ongoing relationship with your organization. Beyond being in touch via a monthly newsletter, many non-profit organizations make multiple donation appeals each year. This plan can help spread out your yearly appeal goals, and encourages continuing donor support, over the traditional single “end-of-year” donation model.
Today, annual appeals face competition from more than just other non-profits. Online donors are seeing “appeals” year-round, in the form of crowd-funding requests from inventors, artists, and entrepreneurs. In this climate, it pays to make your annual appeal stand out from the crowd.