Hi! Did you know October is the month most nonprofits begin planning their year-end appeal campaign? To help you out, I’ve planned the whole month of October around appeal letters and year-end campaigns! This webpage has been created to be your one-stop resource to creating a successful campaign. So take a look around. (And before you go, download the entire appeal campaign templates below.)
You are in the right place if:

  • You don’t have a clue what an appeal letter is or looks like; or


  • You know what an appeal letter looks like (because you’ve got one in the mail recently) but you’ve never actually written one or seen how to create a year-end campaign; or


  • You’ve written one or two and you need some inspiration and you could use some improvement.


I debated for a while about making this download free or selling it. (Yes, it’s that good.) I decided to make it free so you can see what an integrated appeal looks like. Also, I know so many of you don’t have the funds to higher someone to put together your entire campaign. This DIY and completely customizable campaign will save you time and money. All while helping you bring in more funds. My gift to you.

Who can benefit from this package?

  • Never created an appeal campaign
  • Don’t have time to create one from scratch
  • Need some ideas

What templates are included?

  • Initial letter and email
  • Reply Device
  • Follow up letter (can be used as an email)
  • Landing Page
  • Thank you letter/email
  • Instructions
  • Timeline

Download your free package today!

P.S. You can also use just the pieces you want if you don’t have everything in place that’s needed or cost becomes an issue.


An integrated appeal campaign has a 37% response rate. That’s higher than any one source! High response rates = more funds.
Are you new to appeals and campaigns? If you are, here are some terms to help you talk like a professional in no time!   acknowledgment letter  A letter sent by a donee, or on behalf of a donee, to the donor, expressing appreciation for a gift and identifying the use that will be make of the gift. An acknowledgment letter may be a form letter, but it is usually personalized. acquisition mailing (or prospect mailing)  A mailing to prospects to acquire new members or donors. annual giving  Annually repeating gift programs; seeking funds on annual or recurring basis from the same constituency; income is generally used for operating budget support. anonymous gift  A gift whose announcement, by specific wish of the donor, can include only the amount; the name of the donor is withheld. campaign  An organized effort to raise funds for a nonprofit organization. campaign costs Expenditures that are deemed essential to the planning and operation of a campaign and that are directly related to campaign budget projections. campaign leadership  Top volunteers who are an essential ingredient of any campaign organization and one of the three major pedestals on which fundraising success must rest, the others being the case and sources of support. Campaign leaders provide and maintain the momentum and enthusiasm essential to the motivation of the entire organization of volunteers. campaign materials  General term used to denote campaign forms of all kinds; materials required for campaign workers, fact sheets, prospect lists, and numerous other items essential to the effective functioning of a campaign; printed materials such as brochures used to advance a campaign. cash gift  The simple transfer of cash, check, or currency (other than special collections) to a gift – supported organization or institution. charitable contribution  A donation of something of value to a gift – supported charitable organization, usually tax – deductible. charitable deduction  The value of money or property transferred to a 501(c)(3) organization, deductible for income, gift, and estate tax purposes. In most cases, the term charitable deduction refers to the portion of a gift that can be deducted from the donor ’ s income subject to federal income tax. A donor ’ s charitable deduction should not be confused or equated with the value of a gift; that is, gifts for the purpose of life income agreements are not federally deductible at their full value. direct mail  Solicitation of gifts or volunteer services and distribution of information pieces by mass mailing. donor acquisition  The process of identifying and obtaining donors. donor list  A list of contributors prepared for a particular purpose or in conjunction with list building. donor recognition  The policy and practice of recognizing gifts, fi rst through immediate acknowledgment by card or letter and subsequently through personalized notes, personal expressions of appreciation directly to donors, published lists of contributors, and other appropriate ways. drop date  Date on which direct mail letters must be delivered to a post office for mailing. electronic funds transfer (EFT)  A method whereby donors instruct their banks to make monthly deductions from their accounts, designated for the charitable organization of their choice. fundraising plan  All of those elements comprised by an organization ’ s procedure for attaining a campaign goal: a fundraising program, including objectives, case, leadership requirements, timetable, personnel requirements, and budget; and the overall strategy or grand design for successful implementation of a campaign. fundraising program  An organization ’ s or institution ’ s strategy, tactics, objectives, case, and needs in their entirety; a campaign that is loosely defined in terms of time frame and specific funding opportunities; a campaign; a timetable for a campaign. gift  A voluntary, irrevocable transfer of something of value without consideration at the time of transfer or any time in the future. If the individual making the gift entertains any ideas of reclaiming it, the transfer is not a gift. gifts  Any of the following types of charitable donations:

  1. Advance: Strategically important gifts solicited in advance of the formal public beginning of an intensive campaign to ensure a level of giving equal to the requirements of the campaign dollar objective.
  2. Big, leadership, key, strategic gift: Terms used interchangeably to indicate substantial or largest gifts — generally of six or seven figures — required to provide the stimulus for a major campaign.
  3. Major gifts: In an intensive campaign, major refers to gifts below the level of big or leadership gifts and above the level of general gifts. 4.
  4. General gifts: Final 5 to 20 percent of funds raised through a multitude of gifts from constituencies or through a wrap – up mail campaign.  

goal  A concerted focus for an effort supported by specific objectives that an organization determines to achieve; the amount of money to be achieved by a fundraising campaign — that is, the dollar objective. Taken from http://www.cfre.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/bgloss.pdf    

Did you see these blog posts from the Nonprofit Insider’s Club? Here are the ones that talk about appeals and subjects related to appeals. Check back all month for additions!

The Power of the Call to Action

The Power of the Call to Action

You should start using micro-actions now in your communications, on social media, or anywhere you have a call to action. Why? To get people clicking and engaging so they will be willing to take larger actions during the year-end giving season.

Why Should You Write a Fundraising Letter?

Why Should You Write a Fundraising Letter?

After many years in the business, I am convinced that your funding is in your list. This is the most direct way to reach and ask that list for funding. If you have any donors at all, now is the time.

Behind the Scenes: Anatomy of an Appeal

Behind the Scenes: Anatomy of an Appeal

In the first post, Behind the Scenes Look at the Appeal Creation Process, we talked about how to manage the process. Today, we will look at actually writing the appeal.   Donors want to know three things: Why your organization? Tell your emotional story of why...

Behind the Scenes: Appeals by the Numbers

Behind the Scenes: Appeals by the Numbers

This is part two in a three-part series on Appeals. We will look at fundraising appeals by the numbers to determine how much we need to ask for in our appeal and strategy to use.   I hate math. Really. Hate. Math. But to do an appeal right, even those of us who...

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