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Saturday, January 20, 2018

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Helping Chickens vs. Helping Your Nonprofit Appeal Letter Secrets
Karen Eber Davis

August, 2016

"I collect those letters and shred them for a friend who raises chickens."
"If they send me a dime or a nickel, I put it in my wallet."
"I wonder how much money they make on those letters."
"What a waste."
The conversation was among new friends at breakfast. The discussion had flipped from medical mission work in Haiti to appeal letters. The medical mission, including a container box that was refashioned into a prosthesis lab, was praised as "wonderful."
The appeal letters annoyed. This was true even though some undoubtedly contained opportunities to support wonderful work in Haiti or elsewhere.
We love, honor, and respect the work of savings and changing lives. We're indifferent -and even cynical about the processes used to obtain resources that create the wonderful results.
You know this.
The question is what will we do about it? What does it teach us?
To move out of the pile of requests that flood mailboxes, lead with the results. Mission comes first. Money follows mission.
Results obliterate cynicism.

Pick up your next draft of communications. Is it a blog? Newsletter? Appeal letter?  What are you leading with? Is it results? Where are you creating wonder, respect, and admiration for your work? Without them, your work might just be shredded for chickens.


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