“If they send me a dime or a nickel, I put it in my wallet.”
“I wonder how much money they make on those letters.”
“What a waste.”
The conversation was among new friends at breakfast. The discussion had flipped from medical mission work in Haiti to appeal letters. The medical mission, including a container box refashioned into a prosthesis lab, was praised as “wonderful.”
The appeal letters annoyed these friends. This irritation was real even though some undoubtedly contained opportunities to support outstanding work in Haiti or elsewhere.
We love, honor, and respect the work of saving and changing lives. We’re indifferent -and even cynical about the processes used to obtain resources that create tremendous results, nonprofit annual appeal campaigns and asks.
You know this.
The question is, what will we do about it? What does it teach us?
To move out of the pile of requests that flood mailboxes, lead with the results of your request for funding.
Remember, mission first. And, money follows mission.
Results obliterate cynicism.
Pick up your appeal letter draft? How do you open it? Do you share what’s possible? Do you create wonder, respect, and admiration for your work? Or, do your letter and the material around it shout, send us money. Without sharing your vision, someone might just shred your work for chickens.
For more about annual appeals and yearend fundraising:
For more answers, check out this Nonprofit CEO Library.
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If you want to know even more about annual appeals, please don’t hesitate to reach out. I’d love to help you create a dynamic strategy to help your nonprofit thrive. Schedule a time for a free discovery chat here. -Karen
Karen Eber Davis provides customized advising and coaching around nonprofit strategy and board development. People leaders hire her to bring clarity to sticky situations, break through barriers that seem insurmountable, and align people for better futures. She is the author of 7 Nonprofit Income Streams and Let's Raise Nonprofit Millions Together.
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