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Following Through With Your Annual Appeal

Welcome back! Last week we discussed several tips for writing your end of year annual appeal letter. If you missed it, check out that blog here. This week we promised to help you follow through with writing your appeal letter by providing a helpful monthly checklist that will ensure success! Let’s dive in!


  • Consider how your donors will return their gift to you. What options do they have to give?

  • Typically, a #10 envelope is used for the letter with a #9 size envelope enclosed for the donor to return their gift. If postage is provided on the return envelope, there is a greater response. Always use first class postage.

  • An Overline printed on your envelope will also increase responses. “See how we are improving for YOU!”

  • Include a short form for the return envelope including donor’s name (or anonymous), the amount they wish to give, over what period of time, and any other pertinent information.

  • Determine the date the letter will be sent. We suggest to send at least one week prior to Thanksgiving, or one week after. The week of Thanksgiving can become busy with hosting preparations or packing to leave town. We don’t want the letter lost or forgotten in the shuffle.

  • Include a gift goal in your letter that would be a stretch but still attainable.

  • Consider that perhaps your Board of Directors could pool together funds toward a challenge grant for half of the total goal and ask your stakeholders to match their giving.


  • Send your letter! Provide information to your patrons that the letter is on its way via social media outlets.

  • Let people know that every gift is important, no matter the size. Every dollar is needed, and every dollar counts.

  • Involve children or youth by hosting a small change drive, encouraging them to turn in cans, or something that is exciting for them to become involved.

  • Remember to include a pledge card.


  • Follow up on social media with the status of your goal.

  • Send a follow up postcard in the mail using the household name and reminding them that there is still time to make an impact and help the non-profit organization succeed in best serving its patrons.

  • Be sure that your follow up is specific, concrete, and conveys a necessary need.

  • Focus on the people who will benefit from the giving. Not just the organization, but the people it is affecting too.

  • When you complete your project, be sure to take photos and document the process for social media so you’re able to share the results of your donor’s generosity.

  • Celebrate!!

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