You’ve worked hard over the last week to get your year end letter prepared, and now it’s almost time to send. Here are just a couple of fresh ideas to make the most impact with your postage - or email.
1- We All Love Pictures
Ensure the picture focuses on the faces of the people in it—not on the background of some exotic place where you're serving. This is a great way to provide an updated picture of your family along with personal prayer requests for the year. Most people send pictures of their families or kids at the end of the year, and most financial partners love it! Or, you can make a quick update about your ministry in only 10 minutes.
2- Make It Personal
The more personalized you can make your financial request, the more likely you are to get a good response. Try the following:
Hand address envelopes and put them in a regular white envelope and use a real first class postage stamp (not bulk mail postage). It should appear to be a personal letter, which would always have a regular stamp. If the envelope doesn’t get opened, it doesn’t matter how good your financial appeal is. Don’t let your appeal end up in the trash before ever getting opened.
First class stamps and handwritten envelopes exponentially increase your the chance someone will open your letter. If you can’t handwrite all of the envelopes, at least handwrite them to your largest partners. Need advice on making groups of your financial partners? Read our blog on segmenting here.
Always use Dear [First name], not Dear Friend or Dear Partner (or Dear Partners; this is a letter going to an individual.)
Write personal notes.
Call your annual financial partners to connect with them via phone, video call, or actually face to face, if your location permits.
3- Create a Return Envelope
You may want the donation sent to you before it goes to the office. Why? This allows you to verify that the check and project ID are correct and to respond as quickly as possible with a thank you.
Oftentimes, waiting on a report from the office at a time when they are processing more gifts than normal (because more gifts are received at year end than any other time during the year) can prove detrimental. Once you have recorded the pertinent information, quickly send the donation to the office.
4- Create a Fast Follow-up Plan
Your year-end appeal will create awareness and interest, and give partners a chance to decide their level of involvement and commitment. Based your relationship with them, you will need to determine how you will follow up with each one. Annual givers or major donors may need to be approached differently than others.
Before the letter is mailed, write generic thank you letters. Have a system for how you will get them out as fast as possible! Also, think ahead to create time in your schedule for thank you calls. Ready for a more specialized plan for your relationships with your financial partners? Connect with a coach today!
Jodie Coher, Communication Specialist
With a passion for discipleship, it’s a true joy for my writing to be a small part of sending others to the mission field. I also enjoy interacting on social media and spending time with my small family in Missouri.