How to Write a Powerful and Effective Fundraising Letter

How to Write a Powerful and Effective Fundraising Letter

Writing a good Fundraising Letter can make or break your appeal.

Here are some important tips to guarantee your Fundraising Letter will bring success to your next mailing campaign.

Segment your database

By segmenting your donors and creating different direct mail appeals to each group, you can increase your donor retention rates and donations.

There are many ways you can segment your donor pool. Some of the most common are based on age, gift size, last donation date, and frequency of donation.

Donor segmentation mainly focuses on delivering specific content to smaller groups of donors. This prevents your donors from feeling that your material and message are irrelevant to them directly.

Segmenting your donors also helps you to tailor your tone and information. It also invites your donors to engage with your non-profit organization in a way that is relevant for where they are on their donor journey.

Fundraising Letter

A donor who has consistently donated to your organisation over a long period of time should receive a different message from someone who has just joined your cause.

In addition to all this, segmentation helps to create trust and allows your organisation to use your data to expand donations strategically.

Tell a powerful story

Research at Stanford University has shown that we remember up to 22 times more information when it is presented as part of a story than as facts alone.

Fundraising Letter

Demonstrate a tangible impact

It’s important to clearly show your audience how their donations are going to make a difference.

According to a recent study by Achieve and JGA, 78% of Millennials are very likely or somewhat likely to stop donating if they didn’t know how the donation was making an impact.

Give them options

According to a meta-analysis of more than 22,000 participants (42 studies), giving people the option of not donating almost doubles the probability that they will donate.

You should ask your audience to contribute to your cause, and then add some variation to the following phrase: “But you’re free to choose either way.”

Use simple, powerful language

Complicated language can be intimidating. You don’t need to have a complicated vocabulary to tell a powerful story. Keep the sentences short and concise.

Make the letter easy to skim

Make sure that all of the important information stands out. Relevant information include: the cause, how much you are asking for, and what (specifically) their money is going to support. In addition, you may want to consider:

  • Use bold, coloured or highlighted text to emphasize certain words, phrases or phrases.
  • Including white space: Surrounding a key piece of information with line breaks and white space helps to attract the reader’s attention to the segment.

Asking for General Donations

Use their (preferred) name

Fundraising Letter

By personalising your letter with your donor’s name, you establish trust and rapport immediately. If your donor has a preferred name, like Pat instead of Patrick, ensure you address them by it.

Focus on the Donor

Fundraising letters should focus on showing your audience how they can get involved and help your organisation achieve your mission and goals for a cause they support.

Sign the Letter

Have a leader in your charity sign the letter to better connect with your donors.

Offer Other Engagement Opportunities

Instead of just asking for a donation, offer your recipients other ways to get involved, such as volunteer opportunities or other events.

Asking For Volunteers

If your non-profit organisation needs more volunteers for an event or initiative, you can send letters to your supporters to recruit more people.

Volunteer letters will usually be sent to current volunteers as well as to supporters who you think may be interested in volunteering.

Asking For Auction Items

Fundraising Letter

If your non-profit organization is holding an auction, you may need to obtain unique and valuable items for your guests to bid on.

Instead of purchasing these, you may ask for products and experiences to be donated by businesses or people in your community.

Include information about the last auction

Give your audience an idea of how successful your last auction was and how much money you raised. If this is your first auction, talk about how much money you’re hoping to raise during the event and why.

Include a Contact Form

Your letter should include a contact form that donors can fill out with their name, type of item, and contact information. Let them know that someone in your organisation will be contacting them to arrange collection.

Invite Your Donors to the Auction

Inform your audience about when the auction is and how they can participate in your event.

Contact us

Azure Communications is the trusted partner to Irish charities, by helping them to create their next mailing campaign. Contact us now to discover how we can help you to prepare a powerful and effective fundraising letter! Call us at (0)1 531 2695 or email sales@azurecomm.ie

How Nonprofits Can Make Their Reading Materials Senior Friendly

Almost half of senior donors (49%) are enrolled in a monthly giving program.

A Blackbaud Institute study found that the average age of donors in the US in 2019 was 63.

The study found that Baby boomers (born 1946-1964) represent the top source of income for American nonprofits. They account for 34% of the annual donor base in the US, but they contribute to 43 % of all individual donations.

The Mature generation (born 1945 or earlier), on the other hand, represents 26% of overall giving in America. Out of the entire donor pool, mature donors rely most on direct mail to help and participate in the causes they care for (52 % donated by mail and  27 % online, according to the study).

In the UK, Blackbaud Institute reported that the Mature and Baby Boomer generations are the ones with the highest proportion of people giving – at 68% of people in both age groups. These senior donors also contribute to the second-highest number of charities, with more than five charities per person.

83% of the senior population (75 and over) donated to charities in 2019 in England.

How to design your direct mail to older donors?

With older donors, you may need to have a more accessible design in your direct mail campaigns. Here are some great guidelines.

Use Larger Type

Type size must be larger than average.  In print materials, font sizes of 12-points or larger are preferred.

senior man reading a letter

Break It Up

Write short paragraphs and use subheadings to break up the long copy. Also, subheadings make it easy for readers to scan and read only what is important to them.v

Use bold or bigger sized font to emphasise text

To show the importance of a word or parts of your text, use a bolder type weight or bigger sized text.

However, bold text should be used for emphasis rather than being used consistently in the main body of the text. (Source: Centre for Excellence in Universal Design, Ireland)

senior woman reading a letter

Use left aligned text

Avoid justified text as it can lead to large spaces of text between words. This can make sentences more difficult to read, particularly if a person uses text-to-speech software. (Source: Centre for Excellence in Universal Design, Ireland).

Choose your fonts wisely

According to the Canadian Center of Science and Education, the most accessible fonts are:

Sans Serif:

Arial
Helvetica
Century Gothic

Serif

Times New Roman
Bookman Old Style
 Book Antiqua
senior
Different combinations of font size and style – the top line is a serif font, the middle line a sans serif font, and the bottom line a decorative font.
The same images viewed with reduced visual clarity.

Choosing the right paper

Give preference to matte or uncoated paper —glossy paper can have a glare that makes it harder to read.

Source: Centre for Excellence in Universal Design, Ireland

Choose the right colours

According to the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB UK), approximately 8% of men and 1% of women have a form of colour vision deficiency.

Some colour combinations should be avoided as they may cause problems for people with a colour vision deficiency (colour blindness). This is more evident if the two colours are very similar in tone, saturation and contrast. The hardest combinations are red and green or yellow and purple.

Leading

Leading is the space between lines of text and should be at least 25 to 30 per cent of the point size. This helps readers move their eyes more easily to the next line of text. Heavier typefaces will require slightly more leading. (Canadian National Institute for the Blind)

greater leading helps senior people to read better

Contact us!

Azure Communications has the experience and expertise to help create your fundraising materials for your senior donors.  Call us at (0)1 531 2695 or email sales@azurecomm.ie

Reach your audience during lockdown with Door Drops

lockdown

Door drops are a cost-effective method to communicate your message to your audience during lockdown.

According to JICMail, during the first lockdown restrictions across Europe, the average piece of direct mail was interacted with 4.58 times, an 11% increase year-on-year.

Door drops also had record levels of consumer engagement, with the average item interacted with 3.19 times, which represents 15% growth year-on-year.

What are door drops

Door drops are any un-addressed communication that comes through your audience’s letterbox in the form of advertising, promotion or informative literature.

Contrary to targeted direct mail, door drops deliver non-addressed items to all properties in a defined geographical area.

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How you can use door drops during the lockdown restrictions?

  • Advertise products and services
  • Drive web traffic
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  • Drive people in store (if you are considered an essential service)
  • Promote an event
  • Highlight seasonal sales and promotions
  • Build cost-effective brand awareness
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  • Broadcast public information messages
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  • Acquire new customers

What are the benefits?

With lockdown restrictions in place, door drops can be used to boost other marketing channels in order to improve your customer journey.

Door Drops Help To Build Awareness

On average, door drops are kept and remain in the home for 5.4 days, with 14% of them remaining present for over 28 days. (JICMAIL Q2 2017 – Q1 2019)

Research also shows that mail has 35% better recall than social media advertising and 49% more than email. (Royal Mail MarketReach, Neuro-Insight, 2018).

lockdown

Door Drops Can Help To Grow Your Business

Door drops are able to help you to keep in touch with your customers during the lockdown restrictions, allowing you to inform them about new business hours or how your organization is dealing with COVID-19, for example.

They also help to improve brand awareness and can be used as different calls to action, which will help you to keep your business running.

Door Drops Allow You to Target Your Ideal Customer

Using advanced targeting you can reach households that match your desired profile. You can choose to send your mail piece to people within driving distance of a specific location or from particular demographic groups.

Door Drops Are GDPR Compliant

As door drops do not target people at an individual level,  they are completely GDPR compliant.

Creating a Successful Door Drop Campaign

The Data and Marketing Association (DMA) summarises some key factors in successful door drop campaigns

1. Customer targeting – knowing who your customers are, where they live, what their profile is and what their marketing preferences are.

2. Offer – having a compelling message which showcases the benefits of your services and products to your audience.

3. Timing – getting the right offer, to the right person, at the right time.  Avoid sending acquisition messages to your current customers!

4. Creative – making your offer stand out, through the design, format and content of your communication.

5. Response – Ensuring that your call to action is aligned to your goals.

Identifying and Locating Your Audience

By distance

Reach only those people who are within a certain distance. This can be done either by distance from a certain point or drive time

By location

Our unique technology allows you to choose the best location to send your door drop.

Ireland is broken down into over 18500 SABs (Small Area Boundaries), with up to 250 houses in each.

By using our unique service, you can choose which SABs your door drop will be delivered, guaranteeing that your message gets to the right door.

By demographics

As well as sending your message to a specific location, you can choose to target specific groups within that location. For that, you can separate your audience, for example, by:

  • Age
  • Household structure (i.e. married, single, number of children, etc.)
  • Wealth of householders
  • Type of housing e.g. semi, bungalow, terrace, etc.

CONTACT US!

Azure Communications has the experience and expertise to help create your next mailing campaign.  Call us at (0)1 531 2695 or email sales@azurecomm.ie

Direct Mail improves Donor Retention

Direct mail has been successfully used by non-profit organizations to raise money from donors.

What Is Donor Retention?

Donor retention is the percentage of donors that return to give another gift within a specific time period. 

According to the Association of Fundraising Professionals’ 2018 report, only about half of new donors are retained by nonprofits

Why Is Donor Retention Important?

Donor Acquisition Costs Are High

Donor acquisition cost is the price you pay to convince a potential donor to make a gift to your organization

Potential for Larger Gift Amounts:

The 2015 FEP found a direct correlation between retention and gift size. Returning donors of gifts less than $100 were retained at 53% while retention was 76% for those gifting $250 or more. This could mean that as your non-profit grows along with your donor, their gifts are likely to increase over time.

Why Donors Stop Giving

A study called “Managing Donor Defection,” discovered that aside from death and financial difficulties, the reasons for donors lapsing could be preventable.

Donors tended to lapse due to poor communication from the non-profit. Some supporters believed the non-profit no longer needed their help while others never felt appreciated by the organization. 

How to improve your Donor Retention rate?

According to Bloomerang, a donor that gives again within the first 3 months has 2x more lifetime value than a donor that gives a year later.

Personalize Their Giving Experience

Show your donors how much they matter to your organization by speaking directly to them.

donor retention

How to Use Personalised Data:

Use their Name: Use your donors’ first name so that you are using a conversational tone.

Past Donation History: Use what you know about each donor to personalize their offer. If they made a donation previously, note that donation amount and ask if they can help with an increased amount this year.

Inspire Through Education

Keep donors informed about WHY their gift matters.

donor retention
  • Share stories about those impacted by your organization’s work
  • Use powerful imagery to educate your donors on you cause.
  • Include information in your communications that is relevant and useful for your supporters. If your donor thinks your content is of use, they’re more likely to share it with others.

Thank Your Donors Immediately & Often

donor retention

According to research, 65% of first-time donors don’t make a second gift – and 13% of those donors say receiving a “thank you” message could convince them to make a second donation. 

Add a personal touch to your donor retention strategy by sending them a thank you letter. It’s important to include a short message from the president of your organization or another member with their signature and photo. You can also use this letter to reiterate how their donation will help your cause and other people.

Use an Omnichannel Approach

Multi-channel and Omnichannel fundraising is a strategy used by non-profits to advertise their fundraising campaign to a large number of people through the use of multiple communication and fundraising channels. This strategy’s objective is to reach various donor segments, ideally, at multiple touch points.

An omnichannel approach including direct mail, email, telephone, and social media can generate a 20% increase in the number of gifts.

donor retention

You can ask for donations:

  • Via email
  • On social media
  • In person
  • With direct mail
  • Over the phone

Contact us

Azure Communications is the trusted partner of more than 25 Irish charities, by helping them to create their next mailing campaign. Contact us now to discover how we can help you to improve your donor retention rate! Call us at (0)1 531 2695 or email sales@azurecomm.ie

Keep the office running with Web-to-Print

Web-to-print services help your organization by allowing your employees to print from anywhere.

What is Web-to-Print?

Web-to-print portals are online storefronts that permit your employees to order pre-designed, branded products, as well as allowing them to create and manage customized projects.  Usually, the process of pricing, production and order fulfilment is automated.

Web-to-Print

How does it work?

With web-to-print, you can reduce the total cost of your printing, by eliminating the need of hiring a graphic designer every time you need a new business card, flyer, or other printed collateral.

For example, if your company needs additional business cards, you can use one of our templates to generate a new one. You can upload your own logo, design the card around one of our templates and input your personal details, such as name, address, phone number, email address and website.

After this, you can preview it and then choose to how many business cards you would like to order.

What are the benefits?

Web-to-print portals can benefit your organization in a number of ways by combining technology and efficiency to help keep your print costs low. With many people working remotely, you get the additional benefit of ensuring your office doesn’t stop.

Lower Direct Product Costs

Web-to-Print

Research conducted by the Aberdeen Group found that companies that switched to portal technology have achieved a 17% cost savings on print materials and related services. In another study conducted by the Electronic Document Systems Foundation, similar cost savings were found. When conducted on companies with over 1,000 employees, 39% of companies reported a savings of 10-25%, and 13% of companies reported savings over 25%.

Waste Reduction

On-demand production of your print collaterals allows your company to buy print as needed (rather than in bulk), which reduces both excess inventory and waste.

Convenience

Web-to-Print

Web –to- print allow users to order 24/7 and from anywhere in the world.

Improved Expenses Tracking

With this solution, you can track your spending in print. You are also able to see how much each user is spending and what they’re spending it on.

Improved Control

Web-to-Print

To ensure brand consistency and avoid unnecessary costs, a web-to-print portal allows you to regulate user access and permissions.

You can choose to require the permission of a manager for materials that cost over a specified amount. You can also define who has access to which material and information.

Brand consistency

You can choose to use your own templates or to edit our pre-made designs. This will ensure all of your printed materials stay on brand.

Digital Asset Management

A web-to-print portal keeps all of your marketing collateral and digital assets in one place, which helps to manage your brand identity.

Should you need to reorder a material, you can simply use your dashboard to check previous orders and make the necessary adjustments.

Contact us now

Azure Communications is ISO 27001 certified, which allows us to deal with sensitive data in a secure manner. We have the experience and expertise to help you to manage all your printing and mailing needs. Call us at (0)1 531 2695 or email sales@azurecomm.ie