1. The CFC, Nat’l Volunteer Week and Youth Service Day & 2. Building Blocks of Direct Mail

Sections of this topic

    Because of the time-sensitivity of the first article, we’ve moved the postings on “Events in Private Homes” to April 9.

    1. The CFC and Leverage: National Volunteer Week & Global Youth Service Day
    by Bill Huddleston

    This year is the 40th anniversary of National Volunteer Week, and this year it runs from April 6-12th.

    The lead sponsor is the Points of Light organization, and the number of non-profits participating with special events, recognition events, service projects and publications during that period has grown exponentially since its inception.

    April is full of opportunities for volunteers. There are many service projects and recognition events that take place during the month – including National Parks Day, Earth Day celebrations and workshops, and Global Youth Service Day.

    Global Youth Service Day was established in 1988, and this year it is April 11-13th, overlapping with the National Volunteer Week. It is celebrated in 135 countries, making it the single largest service event in the world.

    Why do these two celebrations matter to you as a CFC non-profit? Leverage !!

    Whether taken singly or together, they offer opportunities for your non-profit to participate in nationally recognized celebrations, get some of your mission related work done, and increase your non-profit’s visibility in your community.

    In any media releases, website notices you produce, just include your CFC code number as part of the standard information about your organization.

    Both the National Volunteer Week and the Global Youth Service Day websites have resource manuals with sample press releases, guides to using social media for your events, and logos and other tools that can be used by your organization as a participant. Their links are at the end of this post.

    Because these events are nationally known, the media is looking for stories about both.

    In earlier posts, I wrote about the value of creating a “culture of philanthropy” in your non-profit; and, as I’ve been working on how to best convey this concept to board members, staff and volunteers, the word that I believe encapsulates this goal is “ambassador.”

    Global Youth Service Day GYSD.org April 11-13, 2014

    See “Your CFC Ambassadors” — next Wednesday
    During his 25-year career in the Federal sector, Bill Huddleston, The CFC Coach,
    served in many CFC roles. If you want to participate in the Combined Federal
    Campaign, maximize your nonprofit’s CFC revenues, or just ask a few questions,
    contact Bill Huddleston
    Have you seen
    The Fundraising Series of ebooks.

    They’re easy to read, to the point, and inexpensive ($1.99 – $4.99)

    2. Building Blocks Of Direct Mail
    by Jonathan Howard

    Direct mail success depends on the interplay of three factors:
    •  The Creative
    •  The Offer
    •  The List

    The Creative part of your approach, the written message and supporting graphic design, should use every piece in the mailing, from the outside of the envelope to the return envelope you’ve enclosed. Every word and picture, tells part of a story designed to move the reader toward one very specific action – a donation. If it doesn’t help, it hurts.

    The concept of your Offer, what you will provide to the “buyer” on what terms, comes from commercial marketing and often creates confusion on the fundraising side. “Buy one, get one free,” is a very familiar and successful sales offer that appeals to our self-interest.

    In fundraising, the offer is less about what you’ll do for the donor and more about what you’ll do with the donor through their contribution: “Together, we’ll find a cure!” We offer donors emotionally satisfying opportunities to express their values and their humanity, we don’t offer them stuff.

    The List refers is the set of individuals who will receive a specific mailing. One message does not fit all. Effective fundraisers use segmentation to create sub-lists of people with shared characteristics and send mailings tailored to each group’s interests and past behaviors.

    For instance, always use separate mailings for “current” donors (e.g. those who gave in the prior 12 months) from mailings to people who have never given and those who have not given for some time.

    A renewal mailing focuses on thanks and building a deeper relationship with existing donors. A donor acquisition mailing (a mailing targeted at winning first time gifts) must spend more time on making the whole case for your organization and persuading readers to do something they’ve never done before.

    As noted in my last post, if we mail 10,000 letters requesting first-time donations and get 40 checks back, we’ve had a response rate of .4 percent. Appeals to past donors usually do much better, with response rates of 10 percent, 20 percent or more.

    Jon has more than 25 years in the nonprofit sector,
    helping nonprofits develop successful direct response strategies and effective donor communications.
    You can contact Jon at Jonathan Howard
    Have you seen
    The Fundraising Series of ebooks ??

    They’re easy to read, to the point, and inexpensive ($1.99 – $4.99)

    If you would like to comment/expand on either-or-both of the above pieces, or would just like to offer your thoughts on the subjects of this posting, we encourage you to “Leave a Reply.”