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Wednesday, November 2, 2016

7 Important Rules for a Successful Annual Appeal Letter – Part I

Are you conducting an end-of-year annual appeal? If so, you need to plan now. Here’s how to get prospective donors to open the envelope, read the contents, and take action.

Mind your mailing list: Is it up-to-date with current information? Did you verify that all names are spelled correctly? Do you update your list regularly?

Make a great first impression: Do you want the addressee to recognize you? Look at the solicitations you receive—what impressions do they leave?

Maximize the P.S.: Believe it or not, 90% of recipients read the P.S. first! Put your most important message in the body of the letter and in the P.S. 

Avoid Eye Strain: Today, a 14 pt. font is the minimum. Don’t make the reader squint.

Ask more than once and make it reader-centric: Don’t wait until the last paragraph to make your request. After all, the ask is why you are writing. Reminders of what their donation will achieve should be sprinkled throughout. Here are some ideas:
·        “you make it possible”
·        “can’t do it without you”
·        “please join me”
Make sure you have defined the “it.”

Write like people talk: Read the letter out loud to someone. Is it coherent and does it flow? You are not writing Moby Dick; you are making a 21st century appeal for funds.

Follow up: After you write your thank-you notes and send the IRS letter, you need to tell donors what you did with their money. This is part of ongoing cultivation and communication.

We have many specific strategies to help you write a more effective annual appeal letter. Call MacIntyre Associates today at (302) 530-6806 to boost your rate of positive responses. We’re here to help. Visit our website.

Recipes and Cooking Hints: Orzo Salad

This is a great dish for a buffet or as a side dish. Easy to make and fun to prepare with children. The vinaigrette is key to the taste. The flavors are complex so don’t omit the basil and mint.

  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 ½ c. orzo
  • 1 15oz. can garbanzo beans
  • 1 ½ cups of mixed grape or teardrop tomatoes, split
  • ¾ c. chopped red onion
  • ½ c. fresh basil leaves
  • ¼ c. fresh mint leaves
1. Bring stock to a boil, cook orzo for about 7 minutes, until done but firm (al dente). Stir frequently. 2. Strain and let cool slightly.
3. Mix in vegetables and herbs.
4. Add vinaigrette to coat lightly.
5. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

  • ½ c. red wine
  • ¼ c. lemon juice
  • 2 tsp. honey
  • 1 c. olive oil
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • ¾ tsp black pepper
1. Mix all ingredients in a blender adding olive oil last and slowly with machine running on low speed. Check for seasoning.
2. Warm orzo will absorb vinaigrette so reserve some to add before serving if needed.
Salad is best if made several hours before serving.