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Tips for Your Annual Appeal

It's that time of year again... here are four great tips for you to consider in developing an appeal that will generate results.

1. Utilize the holiday spirit - 40 percent of individual giving happens in December! Organizations omitting a holiday appeal may miss out on some larger gifts. Thanksgiving and Christmas is the time of giving, therefore your year-end appeal - design and content - should reflect your audience's mood.

2. Tell the story of one person your organization has served. Use photographs and emotion to trigger guilt. If the story is a separate insert within the package, keep in mind, that this will most likely be the only thing that your donor will read. Outside of basic spelling and punctuation corrections, let your subject's voice remain authentic, true and distinct.

3. Develop a year-end package instead of just an appeal. The package contains the letter, inserts and premiums, a reply device, carrier envelope, and a thank you letter. It is important to develop coherent pieces that supplement the story and organization's mission.

4. Segment your list! You may miss out on opportunities for larger gifts if everyone is asked for the same gift. Segmentation may take quite a bit of time as the letter, the response device, and even the inserts need to be customized.

Questions? Contact Agne Dizona, CFRE, Director of Development Services, agne@pjstraw.com