Five Maples’ Fundraising Blog

Envelopes that keep your letters out of the recycle bin

Imagine this sad scenario—your donor checks the mail, takes one look at the envelope containing your appeal letter, and tosses it unopened into the recycle bin. Ouch. You’ve worked hard creating the perfect appeal package. You’ve considered every element carefully, focused in on constituent groups, written the perfect copy, and designed the best reply card. […]

You’ve said “please.” Now pick up the phone and say “thank you.”

Contrary to the popular adage, fundraising is not the art of asking but the art of communicating that includes asking.                      —Penelope Burk, Donor Centered Fundraising The way that you thank your donors can have tremendous impact on donor renewal rates and long-term giving (as much […]

3 Steps to Maximize Year-End Giving

Even in December, there is still time for fundraising efforts that will have immediate and long-term impact. It’s crunch time, so you have to prioritize. It’s not over yet… The giving season isn’t over, as shown by gift data compiled from a number of our clients in the last four weeks of December 2016. To […]

When’s the best time to mail an end-of-calendar-year fundraising letter?

Many people ask us: “Should I mail our appeal before or after Thanksgiving?” Well, a lot of appeals arrive right before Thanksgiving. And, a lot of appeals mail in the first two weeks of December So you have a lot of competition whether you mail before or after Thanksgiving. The main points to keep in […]

Raise more money using these 5 words

  They are simple words, but it’s so easy to write a donation request letter and not use them. Our schools and employers teach us to write impersonally, formally, pompously. So, go back through your letter draft and check for these five words: It’s an easy way to improve your donation request letter, thank you […]

Wish your first-time donor renewal rates were higher? Part 4: Show them the impact of their giving

Say thank you. Then follow up with results. This series of posts on improving your first-time donor retention has stressed the truism: Saying thank you never goes out of style. There is no greater way of thanking your donors than showing them the impact of their generosity. At heart, your donors want to know: Why […]

Wish your first-time donor renewal rates were higher? Part 3: Press send.

In this series of posts, founded upon the premise that first time donor renewal is critical for improving your organization’s long-term fundraising success, I’ve addressed the importance of thanking your donors. I provided suggestions for sending a strong thank you letter through the mail as first in a series of thank yous, plural. I shared […]

Neuroscience reveals why direct mail raises more money than digital.

Our clients (except Bernie Sanders, but that’s another story) find that direct mail fundraising outperforms digital fundraising by ten times or more. Why won’t donors respond to digital solicitations? Don’t they know it’s easier and less expensive to send an email than a letter? Guess what: consumers are no different. Check out the results of […]

Wish your first-time donor renewal rates were higher? Part 2: Pick up the phone

In the first post of this series, I shared a strategy for sending out an effective thank you letter. Too many organizations stop there. Remember, I spoke of your thank you letter as the first in a series of thank yous, plural. So, the thank you letter is in the mail. What next? Pick up […]

Wish your first-time donor renewal rates were higher? Part 1: Write a better thank you letter

Improving first time donor renewal is essential for improving your organization’s long-term fundraising success. How you respond to a donor’s first gift is vitally important. A critical—and often taken for granted—first step is the way you say thank you. How does your organization let donors know they and their gifts are appreciated? How do you […]