Join Us for Our Webinar!

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Are you about to start a direct mail or annual fund campaign? Do you know what your objectives are but aren’t sure where to begin?

Join Rescigno’s Marketing Connections on Tuesday July 24th at 3pm Eastern for our webinar titled,

“Jump Start Your Direct Mail (and Annual Fund Program)… NOW!”

During this webinar, the key points you will takeaway are:

  • by planning, you’ll know what your desired result is;
  • setting a goal and taking steps to attain it;
  • talking to your audience the “right” way;
  • the art of the story in solicitation;
  • timing — it really is important;
  • eye appeal could be the difference;
  • understanding what just happened;
  • tracking results

To register for the webinar, follow this link:

http://nonprofitwebinars.com/webinar/7242012-jump-start-your-direct-mail-and-annual-fund-program-now/

We hope you can attend!

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Direct Mail and the Annual Fund: Are You On Track?

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The Annual Fund campaign is the nonprofit’s bread and butter. It’s literally what keeps everything running—maintaining your building’s heating and lighting, supporting ongoing programs, providing for your staff, and, most crucially, establishing and growing a loyal donor base.

Summer is the prime time to create a plan for your Annual Fund campaign. Are you ready to embark on this process? Give yourself a check-up against these three initial steps to get you going.

1. Consider the parameters: Analyze your organization’s needs, goals, and resources. Evaluate past programs or initiatives—which have done well, and which could use some revamping?

2. Design your strategy: Determine your calendar and the specific efforts you’re going to pursue.

3. Make projections: What will these efforts generate? What do you expect to accomplish? And remember that the return on your investment should be measured in more than just dollars.

 

Need help jumpstarting your organization or foundation’s Annual Fund Campaign? The team at Rescigno’s has decades of non-profit development work under our belt. Craving a new approach? From planning to production, we’re committed to providing creative solutions.

Further reading: 11 Strategies for Increasing Annual Fund Donations

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Why Some Fundraising Direct Mail Stories Don’t Work

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It’s simple, but oh so subtle.  Here is the litmus test:  ask yourself  if the donor is in your story after you complete the first draft of your next solicitation.  Why?  Because we talk a lot about passionate  storytelling being the key to better response rates in your direct mail solicitations.

Personal stories of one person’s situation can be very good at explaining and educating, but that doesn’t mean that they will compel readers to act. For that to happen they have to see themselves as an essential part of the story, as if something won’t happen unless they act.

In other words, in stories that compel action, the donor can change the ending of the story with his or her actions.

Here are 4 ways to do this based on why people give:

1-to feel happy – “You’ll not only be supporting our work, you’ll know you changed a life.”

2- to feel important – “Give today to become a member and get insider info and updates.”

3- to feel like part of a success story – “We saved the savannah elephant.  We can save the Asian elephant too.”

4-because everyone is doing it – join Tim T. in Brookfield and Jim R. in Oak Park who are already committed to our fight.

 

In other words, in stories that compel action,  donors can change the ending of the story with their actions.

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True or False? Trees Are Being Destroyed to Produce Catalogs and Direct Mail Pieces

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False:  Trees are not direct mail.  Printed communication is direct mail, but trees?  No!  Let’s get this straight once and for all so we can lay to bed this myth which we’re asked about from time to time.  Sustainable forestry throughout North America has grown the amount of forested lands significantly in recent years, providing a steady, responsible supply of fiber used to make paper.  Trees are harvested and replanted on a continuing basis .  In fact, we have more forests in the United States than we did 50 years ago and about the same forest land in the U.S. as we had 100 years ago (U.S. Forest Resource Facts and Historical Trends).  Old-growth forests are not harvested to make direct mail paper, and the marketplace is beginning to “certify” paper that originates from sustainably forested lands.

 

 

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6 Direct Mail ?’s that Can Improve Your Nonprofit letters

1.  Does your letter speak to the values your donors use to make decisions?

2.  Do you use the same language your donors use?

3.  Is what you are saying credible and verifiable?

4.  Does the tone of your letter speak both to the emotional and intellectual needs of your donors?

5.  Does your content pull at the heart strings?

6.  Is your letter as persuasive as it can be?

 

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