Posts Tagged "Communications"

The Hidden Fact That Will Change the Way You Write Appeal Letters

Posted by on Aug 15, 2017 in Communication, Featured, Membership | 3 comments

The Hidden Fact That Will Change the Way You Write Appeal Letters

If you’re smart, you won’t wait until November to write your end-of-year appeal. If you’re really smart, you will have already written it. OK so most of us aren’t that smart. But the fact still remains that it’s not too early to get a good start on it for 2017.     It’s fall! Time to give. So, here’s my general advice for approaching the task of getting to that first draft of the appeal letter: Start with a story. Return to the story at several points in the letter. List your board members down the left-hand side of the first page. Use 1.25” margins, 13pt type, and double space...

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Don’t Overdo Renewal Letters

Posted by on Aug 8, 2017 in Featured, Membership | 3 comments

Don’t Overdo Renewal Letters

Many land trusts renew their members in the Fall and many are now scrambling to produce renewal letters. Some I’ve seen, and they lead me to make the following recommendation to everyone: Don’t overdo it! Renewal letters need to do three things: They need to remind me of WHY I’m a member. They need to remind me of what I gave last year. And they need to suggest an increased level of support this year. And they need to do all that in an emotional – not data-driven – way. The most common way to overdo it is to try and resell the donor on the merits of the organization. I still see a lot of...

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Educating about Protection

Posted by on Jun 13, 2017 in Communication, Donor Cultivation, Featured, Uncategorized | 6 comments

Educating about Protection

Last week, I wrote about how two words – “educate” and “protect” – are used by land trusts in describing what they do but that serve to further distance themselves from the some of the same people they wish to serve – or at least partner with. (See Othering.) In response to the post, Carol asked, “Great article but what’s the solution?” This week’s post will help answer that question. One alternative to the word “educate” was offered by Lisa in another comment, “We use the term ‘engagement.’ How do you engage with your members, with your volunteers, with the public? It’s a two-way street. It...

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What is a Donor? And What is “Donor-Centric”?

Posted by on May 23, 2017 in Donor Cultivation, Featured | 3 comments

What is a Donor? And What is “Donor-Centric”?

Vu Le had another great post last week, this time taking on the concept of donor-centric fundraising. In some ways, he is right on – in some ways, he misses the boat. Either way, he challenges our assumptions and makes us think. I love that about him. You can read his post here. The all-important premise of his post is that “donor-centric” means putting the donors at the center of your organization. Even though I don’t believe that is what it means, it’s easy to see where someone could get that impression. Consider this article from Simone Joyeaux – Keeping Your Donors. Joyeaux puts it...

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How Much is Your Obsession with Overhead Costing You?

Posted by on Apr 4, 2017 in Donor Cultivation, Featured, Plans and Budgets, Uncategorized | 6 comments

How Much is Your Obsession with Overhead Costing You?

Let’s say you get fundraising letters from two different land trusts with similar missions and similar geographies. The first raises $150,000 per year and brags that 95% of every dollar goes to programs. The second raises $500,000 per year, and you learn from Guidestar that they have a 25% overhead. Which one are you more impressed with? Which one should you be more impressed with? Which one would you give to? Would you support the land trust that is actively using $142,500 to protect land every year or to the organization that is using $375,000? Now turn the scenario around. Compared with...

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