Nonprofit organizations typically collect donations for specific causes. Once a year, however, a message is sent out to all donors requesting funds for annual operations. There are plenty of annual appeal letter examples online that can help you craft the perfect message, but many are missing vital aspects of what makes these requests successful. Here are the most important features you don’t want to overlook.
Powerful First Sentence
Nearly every guide on writing annual appeal letters insists that you start with a story, quote or question. This is certainly a best practice, and you’ll find that most annual appeal letter examples include one of these. What many fail to mention, though, is that it all starts with a powerful first sentence.
You could have the best organizational story or thought-provoking question in the world, but if that first sentence doesn’t grab donors’ attention, you’ve got a problem. If you can make the beginning of your letter evoke a strong emotion, you’re out to a great start.
Appeal Letter Postscripts
A great intro and compelling story will keep the attention of readers. When everything is said and done, however, the postscript is one of the most essential elements of an annual appeal. Many nonprofits resist using these, but studies have consistently shown them to be effective.
The last 2-3 sentences of your appeal letter should focus on the deadline, your ask and a direct call to action. Unfortunately, it turns out that many annual appeal letter examples tend to leave out the latter.
Calls to Action in Annual Appeal Letter Examples?
The most confusing thing you’ll see with annual appeal letter examples is their frequent disregard for a call to action. The best donation request in the world will fall short if it doesn’t explicitly tell the donor what to do next. While it may not sound necessary, a simple “enclose your donation and send in today” will go a long way.
Fundraising Success is Earned
Reviewing annual appeal letter examples will give you a strong starting point on sending out your yearly donation request. It’s important to remember, though, that no single example is perfect. This means it’s imperative to study several samples online and keep the aforementioned strategies in mind. By doing so, you’ll ensure the best chance of a successful annual fundraising campaign.