direct mail appeal fundraising tips

9 questions for getting your Christmas Appeal right

For many organisations, this is the time of year to start preparing a direct mail Christmas Appeal.

Direct mail is a fantastic tool used to connect with new donors, engage loyal donors and generate income for your cause. So it’s important that you do all you can to get it right.

Fish has put together a little checklist of the nine most important questions you should ask of your appeal.

The Nine Most Important Questions to Ask of Your Appeal

 

  1. Is your material donor focused?  Use less ‘we, our, us’ and more ‘you, your, you’re’

Be sure to speak to the donor needs, not those of your organisation.

  1. What response do you want?

Be sure you know your audience. Visualise them and your desired response from them. With DM you want audience to open, read and donate.

  1. Will your donors be able to follow and comprehend you?

Organise your material. Tell them what you’re going to tell them, tell them, and tell them again. First and last times are most critical. Transitions are the readers’ road map.

  1. Do you tell a story?

You need to draw the reader in. Create a picture in their mind about what is happening. Be specific. And be relatable.

  1. Who is the letter from?

The signatory should be the most influential person in the organisation who is willing to put their name to the letter. This needs to be the same person every time so they can build a relationship with your donor base. (If you want a different view point, have a story within their letter)

  1. Does the letter speak head to heart?

Balance emotions with facts, but be sure to make facts relevant so people understand. Balance ‘benefits’ and ‘features’. Personalise as much as possible even if with ‘you’.

  1. Do you use appropriate language and tone?

Use correct basic grammar, but remember it must be conversational as more will be read and remembered. Use everyday language not jargon. It’s a conversation on a piece of paper.

  1. Have you used some persuasive writing techniques?

You want bite sized chunks – short words, sentences and paragraphs. Repetition. Alliteration. These need to be deliberate aspects to your material.

  1. Have you made the ask?

Ideally you will have three direct asks. One in the first 50% of the letter, one just before signature and one in the P.S.

The Fisk Chick on the Central Coast

Last week The Fish Chick visited the beautiful central coast of NSW to deliver some educational opportunities for non-profits in the region. This was in partnership with Fortunity, a local accounting, investment and wealth management business.
Central Coast NFP Forum Bianca Crocker
Bianca shared insights about building better relationships with donors with a group of charities at a breakfast session at the University of Newcastle’s Ourimbah campus. She also delivered a more in-depth half day workshop about fundraising success for small charities as part of our offering of the Small Non-Profits Alliance.
Central Coast NFP Forum Bianca Crocker
donor behaviour report Australia 2019 CAF

Australia Giving 2019

The CAF Australia Giving report 2019 looks at trends in giving in Australia and displays key findings.

This infographic provides a fantastic summary of that latest report, but you can also read the full 16 page report here on Good2Give’s website.

CAF-Australia-Infographic

Australian charity sector fundraising statistics report

Good2Give is a not-for-profit organisation that makes it easy for businesses and donors to give, and publishes the latest research, knowledge, data and statistics on giving in Australia, New Zealand and from around the world with the CAF Global Alliance.

Australian Charities Report 2017 Fish Community Solutions

ACNC Australian Charities Report

The Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission (ACNC) has recently released the Australian Charities Report for 2017.

The Australian Charities Report 2017 is the fifth annual analysis of the information the ACNC receives from charities in their Annual Information Statements. Download the full report here.

Key findings include:

  • Total revenue of $146.1 billion
  • Government grants as a revenue source increased by $7 billion
  • Donations and bequests as a revenue source totalled $9.9 billion
  • 3.3 million volunteers across Australia’s charities
  • Most registered charities (36%) are ‘extra small’, a subset of small
  • 30% of charities reported their main activity was religious activities
  • 4,567 charities operate overseas
  • The most common overseas operating locations include:
    • India
    • Philippines
    • Papua New Guinea
    • Indonesia
    • New Zealand
Bianca Crocker speaks at 2019 Australian Camps Association conference

The Fish Chick at Australian Camps Association Conference

If you’re on the Sunshine Coast later this month, Bianca will be speaking at the 2019 Australian Camps Association Conference.

‘Telling Our Story’ is the theme for the event, being held on 27 and 28 June, and The Fish Chick will be presenting on story telling for donors.

Telling your story to a potential funder is no less important than sharing it with supporters or the community, but sometimes it can be trickier as questions can be complex and word limits are tight.

As someone who has extensive experience working with small organisations, Bianca’s presentation will be informative and provide effective tools to writing better grants, learn where to access them and understanding the philanthropic grant environment in Australia.

You can find out more about the conference here.

Bianca Crocker Collins and Co Conference for Not For Profits

The Fish Chick at the 2019 Collins & Co Not-for-Profit Conference

Are you a regional non-profit looking for a great conference you don’t have to travel for?

The Fish Chick will be speaking at this year’s Collins & Co Conference ‘Empowerment Through Knowledge’ in Melbourne on 14 March — and the best part is all session are available via video streaming.

Keynote speakers for 2019 include Dr Gary Johns, Commissioner of the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission and Walter Mikac, Founder of the Alannah & Madeline Foundation.

Register by Friday 22 February 2019 and take advantage of the Early Bird pricing.

Designed specifically for the non-profit sector, the conference features expert speakers & topics that are relevant to all small and medium sized NFP organisations and provides the opportunity to network with you peers, other non-profit professionals and suppliers.

Bianca Crocker Collins and Co Conference for Not For Profits

The Fish Chick at the 2018 Collins & Co Not-for-Profit Conference.