end of year appeal

Asking Matters

Asking Matters

What you ask for matters.

If you haven’t finished your end of year appeal, one of the decisions you are probably agonizing over is the ask amount—what numbers to put in your “gift string” or “gift array”—those numbers that you will use on your response card or envelope to suggest gift sizes to donors.

Thinking carefully about these numbers is wise.  What you suggest matters.

What Makes a Good End of Year Appeal? New socks and underwear.

What Makes a Good End of Year Appeal?  New socks and underwear.

Nobody likes to receive new underwear and socks for Christmas, right? 

In my first professional fundraising job, I worked for a children’s shelter in Greenville, SC.  I will never forget that first holiday season, asking the kids in the shelter what they wanted for Christmas.  I expected to hear them say things like GameBoys (remember those?) and American Girl dolls which I understood were all the rage with young children at the time.  Instead, I got answers like new underwear and socks.  Wow.  This put so many things into perspective. It also fueled my zeal to raise funds to ensure that those children got those things and so much more.

As you pen your final appeals for the year, remember to focus on the true need.