Fundraising Appeals

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About Appeals

Approaching and asking others for money may become vital or necessary, especially for developing or small organizations. The process is a slow buildup of smaller tasks that (hopefully) will build into tangible monetary results. The wording of the appeal itself is crucial, as well as the formatting, the choice of recipients, and the timing when the appeal is sent.

Internet Appeals

If the appeal is being e-mailed to the recipients, there is the option of sending it in the body of an e-mail, or as an attachment in a variety of formats. An attachment allows for detailed formatting and design opportunities (with Photoshop, or even from outside graphic design sources), while a direct e-mail allows greater ease and accessibility for the recipients and reduces the chance that the recipients will not open the message.

Internet appeals also offer opportunities to receive feedback about the response to your message. A product called “Constant Contact” uses templates to form attractive bulk e-mails, as well as tracking how many times your e-mail was opened, if and how frequently any links in the mail were clicked, if the mail was forwarded, among other statistics.

Cost can be an extremely limiting factor in this process as well, and internet appeals can ultimately save money. Designing an attractive online message might seem like a large investment, but so is postage, and “Constant Contact” and some other graphic/web design businesses do offer non-profit discounts. Here is a link to Constant Contact's pricing package.

Other options include the following:

Graphic Mail - they offered us 5000 free sends Lyris, the Genetic Alliance listserv software also allows email campaigns – they charge $100/year for each listserv. MailChimp--does all of the same tracking, opt-in, easy templates, etc.

Advantages of these types of programs also include features like automatic unsubscribes and fixing headers so internet service providers will not read your message as “spam”.

The main caution when using services like these is that, with current privacy practices, some of them might be collecting information on your donors. For further information, here are some links:

Instructions: If You Want to Develop Your Own Way to Send Messages

You can add images to emails that will show you how many emails are opened. You can even code them so that you know exactly which email address opened the mail. You can also code links so that you know who has responded. You can analyze your own logs in more ways than most of these packages offer. You can follow your customer's path from email all the way through to your 'conversion' page. You can run everything on your own server and you won't need to pay a monthly fee for the added service.

The main thing to consider is: do you want to share your donors information with some 3rd party? And do you want to spend donor money to get the service.

I personally dislike any tracking system used in emails. I hate emails that have links which redirect you via tracking before sending you to where you want to go.

My biggest dislike of all is HTML emails. Nothing wrong with text. And, from a security point of view, I never look at the html code in anything other than a text editor.

So many spam filters are set to reject html emails containing 3rd party links that there seems little benefit to using these services. This is an increasing trend, so who wants to pay for a service where 30-40 % of email is deleted even before it hits the inbox.

OK then How can you you send and manage emails? And at the same time have fancy email messages, without worrying about mail being blocked.

First talk to the person who builds your web site, trust me the next bit is so easy.

Ask him or her to visit this website.

If you want 5 or less email lists it is free, and takes 5 minutes or less to set up on your website.

If you have more then 5 lists, no problem, pay a one off fee of 50 dollar's and if your web master can not do the install DaDa will set it up on your website for a small fee.

OK now the fancy email bit.

Create the message in Word. Put into DADA when you want to send.

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