Advent is here – we made it!
While this year has been challenging for you and me, Advent reminds us that Jesus is coming – THANK YOU, LORD!
You are likely putting the finishing touches on your end of the year appeal letter.
Here’s how I am writing my end of the year appeal letter, and you might want to try it as well.
3 Tips – Writing an End of the Year Appeal Letter
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Hello, my fellow Catholics.
Today, we are going to be talking about how to write an appeals letter and how to write a really, really good one, that’s going to get you more donations.
I’m Brice Sokolowski, the founder of CatholicFundraiser.net, the website dedicated to helping Catholics fundraise better, so they can focus more on their apostolate and mission.
So before we get into the key topic today, which is appeal letters, I just want to make sure that you’ve downloaded absolutely for free my guide, The 10 Commandments to Catholic Fundraising. These are the 10 lessons that I have learned which can help you throughout your fundraising year. Lessons that apply not only to doing a year-end campaign, or writing an appeal, but throughout the year. It has helped Catholics by the thousands who have downloaded it for free, and the overall consensus is, it’s very, very helpful. So please make sure you download my guide. You are going to get tons of information.
Today, our discussion is on appeal letters and their role in your campaign. I’m going to keep it really simple. You don’t have to do a lot to write a successful appeal letter. I’m going to break it down to three components. If you follow them, you’re going to see improvements. No tricks, no secrets. You just have to follow some very basic steps that other people overlook.
Here are my three recommendations on how you can write an appeal letter that will be better than what you’ve written in the past:
My number one recommendation is to make a template. I don’t want you to just cram a whole bunch of text on a piece of paper and print it out and mail it to people. I want you to take the time to step back and figure out, okay, what makes a letter or an email look great? Looks matter. I’m also not saying that you need tons of pictures. If anything, as they say, one, a picture is worth 1000 words. I really recommend also looking at your font, especially looking at the size of the font. Remember, most of the letters in your appeals mailing will be read by people ages 55 and older. People who appreciate a larger size font. I’m not saying that you need to be massive (16 points or larger), but you’re going to want to choose a readable size that will work within the overall look for your layout. That’s my first point.
Point number two is, keep it simple. You don’t have to “convince” people to donate. That’s a key point that I think a lot of Catholic apostolates think they have to do at the end of the year… convince people to donate. You’re not a lawyer in front of a jury, and you don’t have to throw a whole lot of evidence at them to win your case. Just focus on two or three key points that you feel are really important, and share that. Again, keep it simple. Don’t overload people, and I promise you’re going to write a better appeal letter.
Point number three is specifically on what you say. I really don’t recommend your ever using words like, “without your help, we cannot do this. Negative content like, “we can’t do this,” or “if you don’t donate, we won’t be able to do this,” has to be avoided. I understand that it might partially be true. But when you put it in perspective to your mission, you’re doing it because God wants you to do it.
You need to stick to that type of messaging. How, with your support, we’re going to continue doing the mission that we’re doing and praise be to God, we will be able to achieve even more next year. So be positive! Think about growth! Think about doing more! Think about spreading the good word and works of your apostolate, because that is what Catholics really want to support: possibility. Not negativity or the impression you are begging. There’s nothing wrong with begging, per se, but I think there’s a difference between how we perceive it and how it should be done appropriately. If you think about the saints, they were asking for money. But my assumption (and I presume that you would agree with me), there is a difference in asking when it says, help me, donate to me, so I can do this for God. You see the difference. So if you think about begging, if you think about asking, think about it in the light of how the saints asked, how they simply said, help me because I’m doing something great for God. If you help me, great, if you don’t, that’s fine because I’m going to keep going and moving forward. That’s the key message on what to say.
I hope this has been helpful. If you need any help, please reach out to me, on my website, CatholicFundraiser.net, where you can shoot me an email, leave a comment and feel free to share this with a Catholic apostolate that you think would benefit from this type of message. May God love you, thank you so much, and have a great week. Goodbye!
Want to fundraise more for your Catholic apostolate?
Make sure to get your free copy of ‘The 10 Commandment of Catholic Fundraising’. It’s a book that highlights the ten tasks you should do to keep you focused on your mission and hit your fundraising target, every time.