11-15-2011 2:22 PM, EST - last edited on 11-15-2011 9:50 PM, EST by Caryn_NFG
We are planning to include our appeal letter and return envelope inside our year end newsletter Good or bad idea?
11-15-2011 5:10 PM, EST
We are planning to do something similar: we will create our year-end newsletter and then print some copies for donors and members. We will then write appeal letters to our donors and members (we will personalize the letter for each person/organization) and include the printed year-end newsletter in our mailings to them (appeal letter, newsletter, request card and return envelope). At the end of the year (a little while later) we will post our newsletter on our website for everyone to read.
I think that not including it inside but rather having the newsletter as an envelope insert would work better. We used to have an appeal inside our newsletters and this seems to work better... could also be that we are getting better with communicating in general and are developing a larger group of supporters too though!
11-17-2011 6:29 PM, EST
Thanks for the question. Your year-end newsletter should definitely include an appeal for year-end giving. Now, whether that should be a separate item inside or a front page story or included in your Director's column, that is up to you. As I said in my 11/15 webinar, "Appeal Letters That Are...Appealing," much of this is trial and error because no one can tell you what is going to work best with your readers. You may want to test 2 versions of the mailing, code the return envelopes differently, and see which one draws more donations!
At a minimum, you need to include a response envelope inside (but that should be included with any newsletter). If you choose to include the appeal letter as a separate item, it needs to be super-short (consider a paper size smaller than 8.5 x 11). Your readers will skim the newsletter for the highlights and your letter will simply remind them to invest in your results and vision for the future. Another option is to follow-up with an email appeal letter.