Reach Their Hearts, Not Their Heads
I love committees. I’m serious. I do. Those of you who know me personally know, I’m an extrovert. I’m energized by being in a room full of other people. I love brainstorming and discussions.
But there are somethings a committee shouldn’t do and writing your end of the year appeal letter is one of them.
This Saturday is Christmas in July. Santa might not be coming, but there are great sales everywhere and some retailers are even trying to get people thinking ahead to the holiday season which, if you’re a fundraiser, is a really good idea. If you haven’t already begun planning for the end of the year, now is the time to get started.
It’s four months until Giving Tuesday and five months until the close of the fiscal year.
A new study conducted by researchers at Stanford, suggests that there is an “empathy gap” between men and women that affects charitable giving.
To study differences in men and women and charitable giving, the researchers tested responses to appeals for support for a fictional organization they called the Coalition to Reduce Poverty.
The study broke the 1,1715-person sample into 5 test groups and compared the responses of men and women in each of the sub-samples.
What you ask for matters.
If you haven’t finished your end of year appeal, one of the decisions you are probably agonizing over is the ask amount—what numbers to put in your “gift string” or “gift array”—those numbers that you will use on your response card or envelope to suggest gift sizes to donors.
Thinking carefully about these numbers is wise. What you suggest matters.
Nobody likes to receive new underwear and socks for Christmas, right?
In my first professional fundraising job, I worked for a children’s shelter in Greenville, SC. I will never forget that first holiday season, asking the kids in the shelter what they wanted for Christmas. I expected to hear them say things like GameBoys (remember those?) and American Girl dolls which I understood were all the rage with young children at the time. Instead, I got answers like new underwear and socks. Wow. This put so many things into perspective. It also fueled my zeal to raise funds to ensure that those children got those things and so much more.
As you pen your final appeals for the year, remember to focus on the true need.
We all know that the P.S. gets read. We know it’s the most critical part of our end of year appeal. If you’re like me, choking on writer’s block as I struggle to come up with the perfect closing line for my letter, you’re probably looking for some sample P.S.’s to help you get started thinking about what you can say. So here you are —13 sample PS’s.