Have you ever received a bill that just said, “Send a check whenever is convenient for you”?
Yeah, me neither. But I keep checking the mailbox. . .
Bills and credit card statements give you a due date, and let you know the risk you run if you don’t meet that deadline. Having due dates creates a sense of urgency. It gives you a reason to act (if not immediately) then by that all-important date.
They do the same thing when you use them in your appeals and newsletters.
I know that paying bills and donating to a nonprofit are different. And you shouldn’t write a letter to your donors that looks like a credit card company and present them with a bill, either.
But giving your donors a “send by” or “return by” date is effective.
First, it lets them know why they need to give now. While some deadlines are obvious, like an upcoming event or holiday, other deadlines are more manufactured, and that’s ok. Just give your donors a reason they need to give by that date.
Which leads to the second reason they’re effective. . .
It helps creates a sense of urgency and need, and possible consequence if the donor doesn’t give.
“What happens if the need isn’t met?”
“Do you miss out on a matching grant?”
“Are fewer people helped?”
If you’re using them, keep it up. If you’re not, give it a try and enjoy how your donors respond!
As always, if you have any questions or want advice fitting deadlines where they don’t seem obvious, email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Or find us on twitter at: @oneicity