Three Easy Ways to Boost Performance on Your Next Appeal


What I’m about to tell you is not something new.  Yet the importance of these simple fundraising tactics is often overlooked when we’re planning our direct mail appeals.

I’m talking about emails, phone calls, and social posts.

Each of these fundraising tactics can radically boost the performance your direct mail appeal, so here’s a reminder, and few reasons, to why you should add them to your next appeal.


There are two types of fundraising emails you should send with your next appeal. 

The first is the email chaser. This email is ideally sent on or after the donor has received the direct mail letter. The email chaser should briefly outline the problem, solution, and hopeful future the donor’s gift will provide.  Often times you can use the copy that was used for the direct mail letter.

The Better Fundraising Company also recommends to send two, three, or more additional emails to your donors throughout the campaign.  You can exclude folks that have already made a gift, but the idea here is to be present, push the urgency or deadline, and provide donors with a visual reminder that their gift is needed.

Phone Calls

Communicating with your donors on the phone is personal, incredibly cost-effective, and a great way to build goodwill and relationships. 

So, for your next campaign, and if your resources allow, why not make a commitment to call every new donor who gave to your campaign? Or get in touch with your mid-level and major donors?  Just be sure to mention the same messaging or offer you included in the direct mail appeal.

It doesn’t matter whether it’s from you, a board member, or a volunteer, a simple phone call will make the donor feel special, and increase the likelihood of future gifts.

Social Posts

Another way to help your direct mail appeals raise more money is to reinforce the appeals message on social media.

Regardless of how many followers you have, your social media platforms can provide donors with real-time reasons why their gift is needed.

A few short lines reminding donors of a match, the problem and solution, the campaign image, or an urgent deadline are simple messages that can be used to remind donors that they can make a difference.

And similar to resourcing your phone calls, consider getting your board or other staff involved to spread the campaign message in their own circles of influence.

More than likely you are already doing some, or all of these activities to supplement your direct mail appeals.  But if you’re not, consider adding some emails, phone calls, and social posts to your next appeal letter.

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