I am already getting year-end appeals in the mail at home.
Hopefully, your agency's appeal is either already out or is at least at the printer.
Mine is at the printer. My goal is always to have it mailed the first week of November, yet creativity got in my way and it took a little longer.
I have learned over the years that an annual appeal needs to go out in early November. There are those that send it in late October which I think is great too. Gone are the days when a year-end appeal is mailed the first week of December.
So your appeal is out and you're done, right? No way!
Follow up is crucial for a successful appeal. I realize that is you are mailing to 10,000 folks, connecting with all of them after they have received the appeal would be nearly impossible. Our year-end appeal is going to 1900 donors. One week after the appeal mailed we start calling donors to make sure they received the appeal. Just another touching point. We do this with volunteers, and it makes a huge difference. No ask, just confirmation that they received our appeal and asking if they have any questions.
Then, the first or second week of December we send a reminder to donors who have not yet replied to the appeal. The reminder is a colorful postcard bringing a friendly reminder.
Board calls? You bet. Board members can help by calling donors, especially their friends. Another idea is to have the printer drop off all of the appeals before they are made and invite board members to come by and write a personal note. This of course would have to happen in October if you want your appeal out by the first week of November.
I would love to hear what you're doing for your year-end appeal!
Thanks for reading!