One Thing You Can and Must Do to Boost Your Year-End Fundraising Totals

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Just think, 30% of your entire annual giving will occur in December. 

AND 10% of your entire annual giving is about to come in the door the last 3 days of this

So do I have your attention?

Who is going to get your donors’ dollars?

Here is one thing that you simply must do.

It will make SURE these dollars come in the door to YOU and not to the other wonderful nonprofit down the street.

Key Tip: Send a followup appeal letter to everyone who has not yet responded.

Direct mail guru Mal Warwick told me once that the followup appeal letter alone can boost your overall return by 15-25%.

Run the numbers and see if that doesn’t get your attention.

Large or small – you need to implement this strategy.

You may be a small organization, and you think it’s too much trouble to get this second mailing out.

Why don’t you calculate how much an additional 20% would be – and then reconsider your decision!

Lots of money is out there for smart nonprofits this month.

Lots of money is out there for smart nonprofits this month.

You may be a large organization, and you are focusing on your email appeals instead.

Think again! Your donors will receive your direct mail reminder and then go to your website to give.

They NEED that reminder in a separate channel from email.

My rules for a great followup appeal:

1. Shorter and briefer than your first appeal.

This is a quick reminder.

That’s all.

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You are cheerful, but very very intentional!

2. Repeats the themes, the look, the layout, the images of your first appeals.

Consistency is key.

The letter is merely echoing what you’ve already laid out.

You are reinforcing your previous appeals.

3. Has a P.S. that asks again.

The PS needs to connect with the impact, as in:

“Please send your gift now to help preserve the lovely woodlands of our state.

4.  Has a reply envelope and card.

Remember Direct Mail Rule #1: “Make it easy for your donor to give.”

Be sure to link the donor's gift with the good they are doing in the world.

Be sure to link the donor’s gift with the good they are doing in the world.

Make sure that reply envelope and card are readily available to your donor!

The followup letter sounds like this:

“We haven’t heard from you yet! The kids are all hoping to be able to go to camp next summer – and you can send a lucky kid to camp!. . . .


“We haven’t heard from you yet! Our ballerinas are practicing for next year’s performances, but they need your help to perform on stage. . . .


“We haven’t heard from you yet! The desperately sick people in Africa don’t want to give up hope. Your gift will help them. . . . .

How to frame the ask in a donor-centered way:

What you are doing is connecting the donor directly with the good that he or she will be able to do in the world.

You are not asking for money for your wonderful organization, mind you.

Instead, you’re asking the donor to give to the kids, or the art, or the sick or whoever you serve.

You need to REMOVE yourself and your organization as the barrier between the work and the donor!


Send out your followup “reminder to give” letter.

And let me know how you do!

Here’s to your amazing year-end fundraising success!