It’s probably something you don’t give much attention to when you’re creating a fundraising appeal. Most of us don’t, I’d bet. That’s because it’s so simple that it gets overlooked. It’s this: making the date of the appeal a prominent feature. Doing this can make a difference in response.
So says Jerry Huntsinger in his Eighty-Six Tutorials on Creating Fundraising Letters and Packages. And he should know.
Most of the time, the date doesn’t get much attention. It seems like just a business-letter mandatory, and it’s usually tucked under a logo or address block where it can hide.
But putting the date in a conspicuous spot where donors can’t miss it says some important things to donors.
It says the appeal is timely, which is incredibly important. Because that makes it worthy of your donor’s attention. Even before your donor starts reading, you’ve established some credibility.
It says the appeal is intended for that donor. When it’s prominent, the date heightens the level of personalization, adding to the personalization of the address block and the salutation. These three things work together to tell your donor that this isn’t an anonymous circular they’re looking at. It’s a letter from you to them.
Sure, making the date prominent is a small tweak, but little tweaks to response add up. It certainly can’t hurt, and it will probably help.