FundRaiser Blog

The FundRaiser Software Blog is an excellent resource for nonprofit organizations looking to learn more about fundraising, donor management, membership management, and much more.

3 Tips for Appeal Letters


We’re into the end of the year giving season when many organizations are sending out appeal letters. This is a busy time for many nonprofits between Thanksgiving, Giving Tuesday, and then Christmas and last minute donations before the New Year rolls around. Yet, it’s important to give as much thought, if not more, to the appeal letters you send during this time of year. Your donors will most likely receive more of them and each one has to stand out.

Here are three tips to get you started.

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Three Things To Prepare For Holiday Mailings


As we enter the last quarter of the year, many organizations begin to think about their holiday fundraising campaigns. The holiday season, including the end of the year and all the associated holidays, is a big time of year for sending appeal letters and in the US, the January tax letters indicating the giving that had happened during the previous calendar year. Before you begin creating these mailings, try taking these three steps to ensure they’re reaching the right people and are cost effective for your organization.

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What do you do with motivation codes?


It’s easy to get overwhelmed with the coding of gifts in any donor management software. There’s motivation codes, which track what prompted your donor to give, and purpose codes, which track the way in which the gift will be used. Once you code a gift, other than running reports for the month (or year), what can do you do with them?

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The Value of a Salutation


As many of the letters being sent transition from paper to digital and even email is being replaced by text messages and push notifications on apps, it’s important to think about whether we still have a place for formal salutations. While politeness and courtesy will never go out of style, too often when we call someone Mr. or Ms., such titles are eschewed for the person’s first name. When appealing to donors, what salutation should you use?

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Creating Value with Non-Ask Events


Most of the time organizations offer donors reciprocated value. They send thank you notes in response to donations, preprinted labels in the hopes of receiving a donation, tickets when purchased, or other tangible things received either in response to or in anticipation of a donation. This isn’t bad, but it’s very reactive. It assumes the organization has a quid pro quo relationship with its donors.

To start thinking proactively, it’s important to work on non-reciprocated value. This is something that you can offer to your donors for free without asking for a donation or any other consideration. When it holds real value for them, it becomes memorable.

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The Who, What, and When of Tax Summary Letters

The Who, What, and When of Tax Summary Letters

What is an End of Year letter? Usually it is one of two things:

a letter which contains a summary of all donations that a donor has made to your organization in the past year. This is sent in January, to help donors with their appeal letter which is sent in November and December to solicit donations.

This article will go more in depth about tax summary letters. You might be surprised at the return you get from this simple and helpful correspondence.

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user interface anonymous donors small donations overview Importing Data role of nonprofits motivation code corporate sponsors product news ticketsales budget customer portal backing up data gift notes field prospects capital campaign giving levels new features Thank You mailing Task List security NCOA processing donor recognition new nonprofit tribute gifts mode code understanding giving trends FundRaiser Basic accounting software nonprofit fundraising donor attrition rate donor loyalty major gift prospects adding personal notes to letters charity golf tournaments donor Snow Birds banquet appeal letters GivingTuesday Codes flash sales importing csv ticket sales new donors End of Year Letters tech tip letter FundRaiser Spark general entering auction gifts custom page in honor of donations welcome packet social media government grants membership benefits Tickles donor profile data conversion donor targeting arts direct mail motivation Resiliency Network for Good Cloud donor engagement donation history new version fundraising appeal follow up support phoning donors campaign features recurring gifts merge fields large donations passwords on site training mission driven segmenting donors upgrade grants correspondance foundations animal rescue raffle word processor Reporting to IRS building donor relationships Groupings transparency how to handle auction gifts office volunteers reports LYBUNTS National Change of Address donor contact information PayPal pledges training tip increasing giving amounts donor source membersip benefits #GivingTuesday Congratulations endowment campaign ROI FundRaiser Hosted data entry technical support brick campaign announcements spreadsheets personalizing letters online donations correspondence spare fields Constant Contact look and feel New Year Reminders auction fundraising letters letter templates event management new leadership Crowdfunding Campaign annual maintenance plan alumni holiday giving Personalizing data analysis publicity materials planned giving gift acceptance policy legacy giving updates targeted mailings premiums moves management donor attrition community supported gardens monthly giving pictures Facebook the Ask Donor Portal volunteering campaign management donor retention rate Facebook campaign SYBUNTS customer service happiness change of address updating operating systems Excel lapsed donor donor retention community arts nonprofits online donations development director membership programs upgrading donors merge notes In-Kind gifts add ons donor slip donor relations holiday donor advised funds giving history donor prospects memorial giving Alternative Addresses grassroots campaign gift entry holiday letters relationship tracking tax summary letters repeat donors advanced tab vacation communications planning Thanksgiving GoFundMe project board members password protection major donors training how-to videos email donor preferences thank you letters community broadcasting disaster relief salutation case study Volunteer module Company culture texting donors user spotlights solicitors operational costs annual campaign

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