In a recent blog, 3 questions, one of the questions I suggested was “Can you explain it?” Last week, I received two solicitations within a day of each other. These appeals exemplify my point better than any metaphor I could create. Bear with me as I describe them.

The first is from a food pantry I have supported in the past. It was two pages. The first page was an appeal letter. It told me many things I already knew about the organization like their mission. Then it shared goals, and some dollar handles. It concluded by sharing how it helped select groups (school children, seniors) in its service area. Always spoke in general and gave vast statistics (like 6000/month or over 1 million pounds of food). The second page was like an info-graphic repeating the vast statistics. The largest amount discussed was $10. There was never a clear request for a donation, nor a suggested amount.

The second was from a Children’s Health System. It was a buckslip (1/3 of a sheet of paper) and an envelope. The buckslip had two pictures, one over the other. The top one was of a girl in a hospital bed with tubes coming out of her and an adult hand reaching for her face. The bottom (and larger) was a picture of presumably the same child with a huge smile. Next to the photos were five sentences that gave a statistic of how many operations the group had provided. Then gave the explanation of the surgery for the young girl (using her first name), followed by an immediate call to action for support. The envelope had suggested gifts (starting at $25) and the option for a sustainable/ monthly gift.

In the blog about motivating donors, I asked could you put your statistics into one. Meaning one clear impact. That is what the children’s health system did with their appeal. The food pantry was clearly trying to impress me with big numbers. They forgot to help me understand whom they serve and could I relate it to someone I know or myself.

You may be wondering if either of these received support for me. Yes, both did. One check had a single digit to the left of the decimal, and one check had 2 digits to the left. With both of them I used the second amount proffered. Maybe I like solicitations and supporting my own theories.


Hope this helps you to develop solutions and drive results.



Copyright: <a href=’’>andrewgenn / 123RF Stock Photo</a>
Can you explain “it”
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4 thoughts on “Can you explain “it”

  • May 18, 2017 at 9:23 am

    Great blog, do you have statistics on revenue gained from mailers?

    • June 5, 2017 at 11:22 am

      Mike – I will email you some info I received.

  • May 18, 2017 at 7:23 pm

    We in the non profit world need to be connecting with our donors and although statistics are important, stories are the impact of raising the $$.

  • May 31, 2017 at 10:12 pm

    Thank you for any other informative website. The place else could I get that kind of info written in such a perfect way? I’ve a mission that I’m simply now running on, and I have been on the look out for such info.

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