Appeals Best Practices
Effective appeals inspire donors to choose your organization — out of countless other causes — to give their hard-earned money to. To convince new donors and prospects to give, your appeals need to explain your mission and its importance, as well as what their giving will help you accomplish. As you craft content to persuade donors to give, consider these best practices.
Keep your appeal clean and concise — with attractive images — so you don't put off recipients with a wall of text. To highlight important takeaways, leave plenty of white space and bold your key points.
To help donors feel a personal connection to your mission, talk like a human with words like "I," "you," and "we." To show the impact of their support, tell the story of a real person who benefits from your mission and the giving it receives.
To help alleviate doubts recipients may have, anticipate and answer frequently asked questions about your organization and the impact giving has on your mission. Invite recipients to connect and interact with your organization online, such as on Facebook or Twitter.
Tip: For suggestions on how to interact with constituents online with Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, see Social Media Best Practices.
End your appeal with a specific ask — such as to donate, volunteer, or sign up for email newsletters — and provide clear, direct instructions on how to do so. To persuade recipients to act now, explain the immediate need for their giving and the impact they'll have.
Appeals should target — in addition to the right donors — the right amount for each donor. Ask for more than the donor's previous gift, but not so much that you discourage their gift completely. To determine a donor's ask amount, analyze their giving and consider how much — and when — they last gave, as well as the amounts of their first and largest gifts. For more information, see Constituent Giving.
Tip: With Wealth Analytics, Target Analytics, a division of Blackbaud Inc., uses advanced analytics to provide suggested minimum and maximum ask amounts for a constituent's next gift based on their giving history, enhanced with profile data to better estimate their capacity to give. For more information, see Blackbaud NXT Ratings.