Fundraising reading round-up
Fundraising Reading Round-Up

Three major donor appeals & thank you's to learn from

The Clairification blog is hosting October's nonprofit blog carnival. This month the theme is major donors and I want to share with you one of my favourite SOFII exhibits, an newspaper ad for recruiting major donors from Belgium and a great major donor thank you piece.

Whatever the state of your major donor programme, I am confident you can pick up some ideas and inspiration from these three examples of great fundraising.

1: The Bruce Barton 100% response major donor letter

I love the quality of writing in this letter, it is one of my favourite SOFII exhibits. The letter was mailed to just 24 donors in 1925. It acheived a 100 per cent response rate and is a classic in direct response copywriting. It works for many reasons.

  • It uses a range of emotions.
  • It tells a great story.
  • It comes from a respected individual, who has also put their money where their mouth is.
  • It uses lots of behavioural economic techniques.

Reading the letter today, I want to send money to this cause!

How could you say no to this proposition?

This is my proposition to you. Let me pick out ten boys, who are as sure blooded Americans as your own sons,and just as deserving of a chance.

Let me send you their names and tell you in confidence, for we don’t want to hurt their pride, where they come from and what they hope to do with their lives. Let me report to you on their
progress three times a year.

You write me, using the enclosed envelope, that, if and when I get my other twenty three men, you will send President Hutchins your check for $1,000. If you will do this I’ll promise you the best time you have ever bought for a thousand dollars.

2. The major donor newspaper ad to six donors

I recently heard about this newspaper ad in Belgium, which was aimed at six people who had the potential to make a major gift to a children's charity. It was a brave move that paid off, but it is probably only something that can be done once.
Watch the video and let me know what you think.
A big thank you to Lisa Clavering for sending me a link to the creative for this.
3. Thanking major donors - NSPCC's little book of change

Another SOFII exhibit. The NSPCC produced 200 hardcopies of this handmade book of stories, poems, drawings and letters from children who had benefited from their services.
Much more engaging than a bunch of dry statistics in an annual report, this is something memorable that you would show to other people and share.
A soft copy version was also produced for volunteers and other donors and I am sure everyone who received it felt a warm glow of satisfaction (and shed a few tears also) when they read about the difference they made.
Little book of change