What exactly do you mean by “annual appeal?”
First, we need to deal with some fundraising jargon:
When we talk about “annual appeals” here at Smart Annual Giving, we are referring to an organization’s primary donor (or member) renewal appeal sent through the US postal service.
Some fundraisers also call this “direct mail” which is a business marketing term for a sales related mass-mailing. But the term “direct mail” is confusing because it also refers to other types of nonprofit mailings including acquisition appeals, newsletters, or any other mass mailing.
Most organizations conduct their all-encompassing renewal effort during the last three months of the year. Because of this, we’ll often write about one type of annual appeal – the year-end appeal. However, some organizations may call it their “fall appeal” or something else entirely. The articles on this site are applicable to all renewal appeals – whatever you decide to call them in your organization.
Need to learn all about designing, managing and evaluating annual fundraising appeals?
If you need help getting started on your annual appeal, you’ll definitely want to check out The Smart Guide to a Smarter Annual Appeal. It walks you step by step through the 10 phases of designing and managing your fundraising appeal. It includes a 20-page fill-in workbook along with 5 downloadable templates for your budget, timeline, design / print and evaluating your appeal.
Meanwhile, here is the collection of annual appeal related articles to date: