Post by Marketing Intern Alex Basalo

There’s no doubt about it: your organization does some pretty amazing things. You and your team work hard to make a difference in what you do. When writing appeals to your supporters, it’s natural to want to remind them of all the great work you’ve done. However, what you need to focus on is your supporter. After all, if they weren’t important, you wouldn’t be writing appeals asking them for their time and money.

So how do you make sure your appeal isn’t self-centered?

  • Acknowledge that your supporters are a vital part of your organization. People who donate and volunteer are just as important to your organization as board members. Watch how you word your appeals. Are you saying “This year we helped X number of people” or are you saying “Thanks to your generous support, our organization was able to provide X number of people with Y.” Let them know what work is being done with their contributions. You still get to show the great work your organization has done, but it also shows that without your supporters, none of your great work could be accomplished.
  • Focus appeals on the goals of the appeal instead of the organization. Don’t just talk about what your organization has done with past donations, but talk about what goals your organization has for the year(s) to come. “With your donation of $20, you will be able to feed X amount of children. With your donation of $100, you will be able to buy school supplies for X number of students”. Give donors a visual of what their individual donations will do. The more personal the ask is, the more likely it is to resonate with your donors.
  • Most importantly, stress that you cannot work on your organization’s mission without them. This is no stretch of the truth. No matter how many grants and donations you receive, you can always use more funds to increase your abilities and reach. Without the help of your supporters, your mission would not be achievable. Make sure your ask is clear, and offer different ways to donate. Include an envelope for mail-in donations and a link to your donate page if they would rather donate online.

Always remember that the goal of your appeals is to get help from old and new supporters. Motivate your supporters with what their donations are doing, not with what your organization is doing. Take the focus off of your organization, and put the focus on your supporters. There is no doubt that your organization is pretty awesome, but your donors and volunteers are pretty awesome too.