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“We’re Not Sending a Year End Appeal This Year.”

The economy in 2008 was challenging. But what’s scarier than your 401k statement? Writing a year-end appeal to your donors and supporters in this economic climate, that’s what.

Some of my non profit friends are telling me that they’re not putting a year-end letter in this year’s budget. They know donors are experiencing a cash crunch, and they don’t want to make them feel even more jittery.

So, in my own very gentle, tactful way, I’ve been trying to soothe my friends’ fears by saying:

“Whoa! Are you nuts?”

That’s right. It’s crazy not to send a year-end letter. During tough times, nonprofits should be thinking bigger, not smaller.  A year-end letter is a must, especially one with a planned giving twist.  There are creative ways to give at the end of the year and many are through planned gifts.  Don’t forget, bequests make up at least 75% of planned gifts, too. And always, always remember this: all you need is one planned gift to make it worth your while to launch an appeal.

Smart nonprofit people know that this year, it’s nearly impossible to sing that old song, “Give by year-end and get a big tax break!”  because donor portfolios are suffering.  That’s why this year, it’s important to think smart, think new, and send a better letter.

What’s a smart (and tough) nonprofit person to do?  We’ve already written a tried and true, must-have letter you can purchase right now. And here are several free downloads and tools you can put to use immediately. Just because they are free does not mean they are not of value. Use them!

Remember; tough times do not last. But tough (and smart) nonprofits do.

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