12-20-2010 4:12 PM, EST
Sender: Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont
Subject: Help us grow local farms, healthy food, and strong communities in Vermont!
Dear [first name],
[photo of kids gardening]
2011 will mark NOFA Vermont’s 40th anniversary. In those forty years, we’ve helped Vermont’s agricultural movement grow and diversify. Thanks to our supporters, our programs now touch nearly every aspect of Vermont’s farm and food landscape – from helping local schools serve local foods to helping aspiring farmers gain the knowledge and experience they need; from certifying over 570 organic farms and processors to working to make fresh, local food available to all Vermonters, regardless of income.
Our current goals are to increase consumer access to local and organic food, provide food and farm education to all Vermonters, and strengthen commercial organic farms in Vermont through farmer education and technical assistance.
With your support, NOFA Vermont will continue our work for another 40 years – and more! Please consider a year-end gift to NOFA Vermont, and join the other gardeners, eaters, and farmers who support local farms, healthy food, and strong communities. Every donation matters. Thank you for your important contribution.
Best wishes for a happy holiday season,
PS – Making your tax-deductable donation is easy – you can click here to donate securely online, or download this form to send in with your check.
[Obviously, the links above will be live in the actual email.]
12-20-2010 5:47 PM, EST
Hi and thanks for sharing your appeal!
I like the idea of the photo - just make sure that the email displays well in a preview pane in Outlook and on GMail and other email providers. Photos are often supressed or blocked, so if all people see in the preview pane is a blocked image, they may just delete the message without ever downloading the photo and receiving the full appeal. Be sure to put a few lines of text above it and use descriptive alt-text for the photo.
I'm not crazy about starting with the fact it's your anniversary, then going into your strategic goals. It's a lot about your organization and not very much about the person reading the appeal. You want to translate what all that means to me, the average Josephine. What is "consumer access" and "technical assistance" for my life? I'd take out the jargon and make it plain: "we here to ensure you have real organic foods in your stores and schools."
In the ask, I'd make it about something more exciting and tangible than contributing to the next 40 years. Can you explain more about why the donation matters and what exactly it will do?
Good luck - and happy fundraising!