Writing a year-end giving letter is not a slapdash exercise. It must be done with intention and unaltered attention – being focused is critical. Why the seriousness [you may ask]? – You are trying to have willing givers look your way amidst the numerous appeals from different fundraisers. Hence, you’ve got to adopt a winning strategy that ensures satisfactory results.
Because getting such a result won’t come out of the blues, we have decided to share a couple of tips to help you craft an excellent giving letter. Mind you, it is not just about writing but being rightly guided. A well-written year-end giving letter may be all you need to attract the next set of big donors. You can also use it to complement other fundraising mechanisms – like peer-to-peer fundraisers, crowdfunding, etc.
Keep Your Fundraising Campaign/Appeal In View
The central theme of your year-end giving letter is nothing but your fundraising appeal. Hence, you can’t afford to let this slip out of sight as you write the letter. Essentially, you should avoid joining issues or bringing up any unrelated topic. As such, it’s essential that you do not just jump into writing. You have to take time to internalize things and determine the content of your message.
Tell A Compelling Story And Highlight Your Achievements So Far
Storytelling is a crucial part of fundraising communication. Therefore, you should do well to tell a compelling story about your fundraising project. The story can be about the vision fuelling your campaign and what you aim to achieve in the days ahead. This should present the perfect opening for communicating your brand/organization.
You may also find space to talk about your achievements and the charity drives you have undertaken. The aim is to set the basis for building rapport with the (prospective) donors. And you should have it at the back of your mind that your letter has a voice – so let it be expressive.
Segment The Donor List
It would be best if you worked on your email subscription list or data of loyal donors to ensure proper segmentation. By this, you will place every donor into the appropriate group based on specific parameters. The segmentation can be done using the donation frequency or giving capacity of donors. There are instances where fundraisers segment their donor list based on age group.
With segmentation, it will be easy to send out messages to your donors promptly. There will hardly be any incidence of things getting muddled up. Plus, the inclination towards ensuring peer-centred communication is yet advanced due to segmentation.
Focus On Individual Donor
You can give your year-end giving letter some personable tone – this is another reason segmentation is vital. However, this can only be actualized if you focus on individual donors. Hence, it would help if you were mindful of the donor even as you keep tabs on the objective of writing the letter. You should save overtly generic communication for some other time and let your donor get that friendly vibe. You don’t have to see them physically when you can resort to the power of words.
More notably, you should write to address the donor by their first name. This creates some bonding and captures the attention of the reader – albeit subtly. Again, there is an iota of value that comes with focusing on individual donors.
Avoid Long-Winding Words
Your donors could be people with a busy schedule and may just manage to read your letter. So, you should make your year-end giving letter easy for them to read. You must do away with long-winding words or sentences – there should be no ambiguity. Doing otherwise could make the reader lose interest and may not get to catch some essential details.
This may hurt the progress of your year-end campaign in the long run. Permit me to add that your letter has to be as brief as possible – even though you have to tell your story. You may want to spare some time to learn one or two tips about creative writing and the use of proper sentence structure. This will help in no mean measure.
Never Forget To Say ‘Thank You’
Yes, you are probably writing the letter to inform them about your giving campaign, but that doesn’t mean you can’t say “Thank You”. For what [could be the next thing popping up in your subconscious]? Well, you can thank them for the audience they have given – in reading the letter.
That aside, some of these donors might have been there through the years, so there may be no better moment to thank them again than through your letter. This is yet another way of reflecting value. By the way, gratitude could set you up for a bigger reward as donors could be moved to commit to your year-end fundraising cause once more.
Include A Call-To-Action
You can’t write a year-end giving letter and leave out the important part of it – a call-to-action (CTA). The CTA is what gives prospective donors a sense of direction on the next step to take. You can consider asking them to donate to your cause through text-to-give or connect to your online giving page. Whatever will rustle your fundraising cause should suffice.
Your CTA should be a summary of the year-end giving campaign and the fund you’re looking to raise. That said, you may also use the letter to ask volunteers to join your team [of peer-to-peer fundraisers]. So, they can either donate funds or give their time.
The measures you’ll be taking as you plan towards your year-end giving campaign must be on point. This is why you can’t afford to send out a poorly written letter. You’ve got to understand that there are many fundraisers who want to make the most of this season. On this premise, you must choose to stand out and get the rapt attention of your donors. The strategies shared in this article should do the trick to bring you a pleasing outcome.