Writing Fundraising Appeals Without Data From Your Prior Year

Writing Fundraising Appeals Without Data From Your Prior Year

Writing Fundraising Appeals Without Data From Your Prior Year

This week John Haydon wrote a piece that discussed how using certain types statistics in your fundraising appeal can be detrimental to your development efforts. Haydon’s article is an excellent read.

For many small nonprofits creating compelling statistics can be a problem. It’s critical for your fundraising potential donors to understand how their donation is tied to the work that is being done. Statistics can help make your ask more compelling, yet many nonprofits struggle with developing appropriate statistics.

How do you go about using data to create a sense of urgency if you don’t have the time or internal resources to explain the impact of your donation? Many nonprofits – especially those with limited staff – struggled to create accurate estimates of what $100 helps to support.

Below are three tips for organizations that may not have data from their previous year to associate with dollar-values:


Help your donors understand your impact by sharing the stories of the constituents you serve. Sharing the stories of the individuals you support is important because it fosters greater understanding and broadens perspectives. It also highlights the tangible ways that your organization helps individuals. Instead of saying we help feed families, you’re able to share exactly how you helped the Miller family.

Use Future Goals

If you’ve mapped out upcoming goals you can begin to associate giving with future needs. “Donate $100 to help us facilitate trainings for educators” is less compelling than “Donate $100 to help us provide an additional 50 trainings for educators in 2015”. As you discuss your 2015 goals think about how you can build them into your year-end asks.

Share Highlights Segmented by Audience

Sharing highlights from your previous year is helpful, but it’s even more compelling if you segment your message by audience interest. If you know that individuals in your audience group adopted cats from your animal rescue organization – segment your message to share prior year highlights that are specific to cats. Audience segmentation can also be a challenge for time-strapped nonprofits, but the practice can have a very positive effect on giving rates.

We hope these tips help if you’re struggling with developing the proper data for your year-end communication. Below are a few links for the week that you may enjoy.

  1. Are you using video on Facebook? If not, you need to develop your strategy – Annie Pilon of Small Business Trends explains why.
  2. Marlene Oliveira provides tips on how to use your audience to crowdsource your blog.
  3. The Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy did research that found giving is extremely high from young single women who are not religiously affiliated.
  4. Victor Luckerson of Time details Twitter’s plans for growth and changes in 2015.
  5. Let the 2015 trends and planning articles begin! Elizabeth Chung of Classy shares the five bad marketing habits to break in 2015, while Avi Dan of Forbes prognosticates on the 11 marketing trends to expect in 2015.
  6. Karen Strauss of Ketchum penned a thoughtful blog piece about ageism in marketing and the negative perceptions that a boomer faces in her industry.

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