Merlin Warm Appeal
Merlin were worried. They had a warm appeal booked, but no proposition and nothing new to talk about. I suggested an emergency mailing with a difference – there was no emergency.
If you're going to ask someone again for a donation, the most powerful thing you can do is to thank them for a previous donation – and demonstrate how it helped your work. To begin the letter, I wrote several laser variable paragraphs to cover those supporters whose last gift had been to different appeals they'd received, with updates on the projects their gift had helped.
I then broke one of the cardinal rules of fundraising by saying "I can't tell you what the donation I'm going to ask you to give today will do". The proposition I had created was based around the unpredictable nature of Merlin's work. Conflict situations and natural disasters can happen suddenly and Merlin had to have the money to be able to react quickly.
The mailing performed well, beating its target by 70%.