Tweak: a fine adjustment to a mechanism or system
Here are some fine adjustments you can do that can meaningfully improve your upcoming year-end campaign.
Make a direct ask. As in “Fiona, will you please make a donation today to help train more lifesaving paramedics?”
A lot of fundraising hints at giving, hoping donors “catch your drift.”
They don’t know what you need them to do unless you tell them! And we don’t receive unless we ask. I have tested this many times — not asking in an appeal letter simply means you will raise less money.
The more specific and direct the ask. The better. As in “Fiona, will you please make a donation of $125 today to help me train more lifesaving paramedics?”
This is even better. That $125 is based on my previous giving. Donors respond best when you suggest what they do, and suggesting they give a gift that’s around the size of their previous giving is your best bet.
If you have direct mail donors who have also provided their email address, use email to support your campaign.
One email is not enough. It’s hardly worthwhile unless you send around seven emails. That way you’ll get far more people opening at least one of them.
Call your top donors and ask them for a gift. Sean has done an awesome video to talk you through this and you can find that here: How to Boost Your Direct Mail Campaign After it Has Gone Out.
Now here’s the hard part: These three tweaks will make little difference if you are not basing your appeal on an emotional and engaging story that helps the reader feel the problem and see how they can be part of the impactful solution.
Want to really sharpen your fundraising skills? Take our online course, 7 Steps to Creating Record-Smashing Direct Mail. It’s your hands-on workshop in what works, how to do it, and how to apply these truths to your cause! It’s available for members of The Fundraisingology Lab. Check it out.