3 must-haves for a strong January renewal appeal

Now that your year end appeal is out the door, it’s time to relax with a few weeks off. HA! Kidding! Actually, it’s time for your January renewal appeal to be in the works.

Your January renewal can be one of the strongest appeals of the year. Those donors who didn’t give to your year-end appeal will probably be ready to open their wallets in January.

In addition, after the hustle and bustle of the holidays, donors have a bit more time on their hands, so they’ll probably be more receptive to your ask. And, donors often work out their plans for giving in January, and they may be thinking they’ll start off the year with a big, fat, generous gift. You’ll want to be there for that.

So, here are three things to do so that your renewal generates good results:

  1. Use a membership card. Does anybody actually take the membership card from the mailing and put it in their wallet? Probably not. But that’s okay. The membership card is a symbolic thing, obviously. Something tangible. And especially when it has the donor’s name on it, it works. Probably for the same reason that those donor-personalized Certificates of Appreciation work.
  2. Give solid reasons to renew. The call to action is, “Renew your support,” and that should be peppered throughout the appeal. Because of that, it’s important to provide some strong reasons why your donors would want to renew their support. These reasons will be based around the impact of your donors’ gifts. For a cancer center, say, it could be something like, “Your gift will fuel the world-class research that’s saving lives.” Three or four strong reasons are what you need to drive home the urgency and the impact around donating.
  3. Acknowledge your donor’s importance. The opening of your letter is probably a good place to make this point, and you’ll want to be somewhat effusive in thanking your donor. Still, you don’t want to dwell on this for paragraph after paragraph. Tell your donors how wonderful and important they sincerely are, and then move on to donor impact.

It’ll be a whole new year soon, with new challenges and new opportunities for your donors to be involved with your mission. Your January renewal is how you can give them that chance.

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