Yes, you read the date correctly. It is July. And yes, we’re talking about your year end fundraising appeal. It’s never too early to start planning.
For many, your year end fundraising appeal brings in half or more of your annual fundraising revenue. So, it makes sense to start thinking about it now. Please, don’t leave your big or even small details to the last minute.
To get you thinking about the important story component of your appeal, I’ve put together a checklist for you:
Fall Fundraising Appeal Story Checklist
1. Choose the story
Who will you highlight? Why? What do you want donors to feel when they read this story?
2. Schedule an interview
Use the story template from my Resources Section, or MemoryFox’s 20 Storytelling Interview Questions to Capture Great Stories when interviewing your story candidate. Don’t forget to include how the person feels.
3. Use a release form
Be sure to secure permission to use the story in multiple ways. Download a sample here.
4. Craft at least 3 versions of your story
You’ll want a longer version for newsletter or blog use, mid-length for enews or donate page, and a short version to use on social media. Need help getting started? Check out this article for tips on crafting a powerful story.
5. Begin highlighting your story
At least 3 to 4 weeks prior to mailing your appeal you’ll want to begin using your story in your newsletter, blog, or on social media.
6. Be certain to include your “money story”
Always combine your money story with your people story. This allows your audience to understand there is more to do with more financial resources.
7. Remember to use story snippets when you say thanks
Keep your story in your donor’s mind by using snippets or a quote in your thank you letter and the immediate online thank you.
8. Don’t forget to continue the story in the recap
Include any final thoughts or thanks from the person in your story in your recap once the appeal comes to a close.
The 5 Must-Do’s for Year End Fundraising
Now that you have your checklist, don’t forget the 5 must-do’s for year end fundraising! Join me Tuesday, August 8th, 12 pm EDT / 9 am PDT for a MemoryFox Webinar exploring this topic.
In this fun, fast-paced session, you’ll learn 5 powerful and simple “must-do’s” to cut through year-end fundraising noise; help increase your Giving Tuesday success; and increase donor retention. I’d love to see you there.
About the Author
Lori L. Jacobwith
Founder, Ignited Fundraising
The sweet spot of her work is to help organizations put a face on their impact by sharing inspiring, ethical mission moment stories. For more than 35 years Lori has had a laser focus on helping nonprofit staff & board members implement fundraising solutions that put ease and joy into raising money. To date, she’s helped nonprofit organizations raise more than $500 million. Public speaking & training remain her passion in her quest to fulfill her personal mission of helping as many nonprofit organizations as possible exceed their annual fundraising results.