Five Maples’ Fundraising Blog

8 ways to get better results from annual fund appeal mailings

  1. Use story in fundraising letters. Speak from the point of view of the potential donors.  “I was helped, and now I’m helping”.  Show what the help does.
  2. Use color photos with captions that support or convey the story in direct mail letters.
  3. Improve convenience and choices for the donor and gather more information by using a 7 x 8.5, two-color folded response form. This increases your space to work with and puts all donor response information on one side.
  4. Use the response form to build your database of email addresses and cell phone numbers.
  5. Optimize the ask amount by using ask strings based on the donor’s last gift. Reminding donors of the time and amount of their last gift sustains and increases giving.
  6. Use an integrated, multi-channel approach: direct mail, email, thank-a-thons, or phone reminders. Direct mail results in the highest response rate for donations and email the lowest rate, but integration boosts response rate in all channels
  7. Remind donors with a personalized postcard (with ask strings) timed for the end of year when 25 to 35 percent of all gifts are made. Send the letter appeal at the beginning of November and the postcard in the second week of December.
  8. Increase frequency of development communications.  Thank donors immediately. Before the next appeal inform them that their gift has been put to work. Then inform them what their gift has accomplished. And then ask for the next gift. Ask by mail two to four times per year.

Five Maples, can help you optimize your mailing results. Give me a call for a free consultation or a quote on your current mailing needs. Call Gary at 1-800-437-7780, ext 104, or send an email to

Need help getting out your spring fundraising appeal?

Whether you need lists, data-work, printing and mailing, or help with writing, design and editing, we are ready to help you! Call me at 800-437-7780 ext 104, or Email Me Today!

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