|Photo by elvinj via Flickr|
Some organizations will put a fundraising appeal in their newsletter. I think that’s a bad idea. Your newsletter is one of the many ways to thank your donors. It should showcase your programs and clients – demonstrate to donors how their money is being spent (without actually saying that). Your newsletter is not an appropriate fundraising venue for a couple of reasons:
- A good portion of your communications with donors and other supporters needs to be something other than a fundraising appeal. Many donors feel that the only time a nonprofit organization is in touch with them is when they are asking for money.
- A fundraising appeal can get lost in a newsletter. To get the most out of your fundraising appeals, send separate, specific messages. Instead of including a reminder in your electronic newsletter for people to send in their annual appeal, send a separate e-mail message.
Even worse than including a fundraising appeal in your newsletter, is sticking a donation envelope inside your annual report. Your annual report is the ultimate thank you to your donors. It’s a place to list your accomplishments, tell stories about your clients and programs, show how your funds are being spent, and even include a list of donors. It’s not a place to ask for money.
I once received a donation envelope inside a holiday card that I received from a nonprofit organization. Not good. Holiday cards are great way to reach out to donors and other supporters, but leave the fundraising appeal out of it.