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How to make this Tax Appeal your best ever

Your Tax Appeal is one of your biggest fundraising opportunities of the year.

Find out how to boost your results by keeping the donor front and centre.

Tax time is coming for New Zealanders, and the odds are it’s your best time of year for raising funds, especially from your major donors. So, it’s really important that your tax appeal gets your supporters giving more than ever.

But what can you do to make this tax appeal your best ever?

Well, there’s one thing all the most successful tax campaigns have in common. They focus on their donor’s experience, taking them on a journey that (hopefully!) leads to a gift.

Put yourself in your donors’ shoes

Most of your donors will be inundated with requests for gifts right now. Unless they’re among your most staunch supporters, there’s a good chance you’ll need to get in touch more than once before they’ll respond.

That’s why most tax appeals have several waves, sent through multiple channels.

Your job is to make sure that every time they hear from you, your supporters understand why you’re contacting them and what you want.

Make sure every communication you send (including each separate element in your mail packs) has a purpose. For example:

  • A ‘teaser’ email before your direct mail (DM) pack lands, with a few compelling details from the case study. This is to pique their interest, so they’ll be more likely to open your letter.
  • A first wave DM pack, including some or all of these elements:
  • Envelope, with headline or image to encourage people to open it.
    • Personalised letter that acknowledges past support, makes it clear why you need help, and clearly asks for a donation.
    • One or more lifts to provide extra details about your case study or your work. Each piece should add something to the pack (rational information or emotional impact) and they need to work well together.
    • Response mechanism to make it easy for donors to send in a gift. This should be in A4 format, with no less than 11pt type size. (So that major donors – who are often older – can easily read it and fill in their details).
    • A reply-paid envelope. This is critical. With the best intentions, most people just won’t get around to finding a stamp! You’ll only have to pay postage if someone returns the envelope with a donation, so it’s a very small price to pay.
  • A second wave DM pack to remind people that you still need their help. If you can, include new information such as an update on the case study, to make this interesting. If you don’t have an update, you could include details you left out of wave one, or show the donor more ways their gift will make an impact. You’ll want to ramp up the urgency in this pack, to remind people that the deadline is approaching.
  • A follow-up email to anyone who has not yet donated. This is to remind them that the end of the financial year is approaching and that they need to act fast to get their tax deduction.
  • A last-minute SMS to alert people that the deadline is fast approaching and it’s not too late to donate.
  • A warm and heartfelt thank you letter, to show how much you appreciate their generosity.

Plan your donor journey

You might have just some of these elements in your tax campaign – or you could have several more.

You’ll need to repeat some information each time, because, let’s face it, many people will either have ignored or forgotten what you said. But the most important thing is to make sure each communication takes your donor further along the journey.

You want to encourage your supporters, (not hound them!) and give them even more compelling reasons to donate. So keep your donor journey in mind at all times while you’re planning and writing your tax appeal, and you’ll be on the fast track to fabulous results.

Need help with your tax appeal?