Make an ask in every communication piece

Snip20160416_30It’s fundraising 101. If you do not ask, you do not receive.

Late last week, I received a newsletter from a Sydney-based hospital. I shouted when I opened it because the hospital foundation failed to make an ask for a donation in the piece. In fact, there was no response device, no letter, and simply a newsletter with a self-addressed response envelope.

Why didn’t this hospital take the time to ask me (and the others who received the newsletter) for a donation? Further, why would the charity include a self-addressed envelope if they were not going to take the time to include a response device to drive donations to your charity?

If it is worth producing the communications piece, it is worth taking the time to ask people for a donation.

Consider the following:

  • Wrapping a letter around the newsletter offers you a chance to recognise the donor’s past support and to draw their attention to key articles in the newsletter.
  • Including a response device, pre-populated with the donor’s details, will short cut the guessing game and drive contributions to your nonprofit organisation.
    • It will not cost any more postage to mail a response device with a newsletter and a return envelope.
  • Sending a self-addressed envelope, without a response device, will likely yield far less returns than a charity would receive if a response device was included in the package.

Don’t believe the statements in this blog post? If your organisation currently sends newsletters with no letter and no response device, create a three part test.

  • Pack one
    • Newsletter and reply envelope
  • Pack two
    • Letter, newsletter, reply slip, reply envelope
  • Pack three
    • Newsletter, reply slip, reply envelope

See for yourself which of the three packs wins. You might be pleased you took the time to make an ask for a donation.