Fundraising Success #45

Fundraising Success #45

Fundraising Success – Issue #45 – Article: “Donation Request Letter Tips”; Supplier Spotlight: “Mr. Z’s”; Free ebook: “101 Camping Tips”


Fundraising Success #45 – August 2006


=> Kimberly’s Column: “School Fundraisers”
=> Reader Q & A: “Improving Fundraising Sales”
=> Feature Article: “Donation Request Letter Tips”
=> Supplier Spotlight: “Mr. Z’s”
=> SiteSeeing, Bonus & more: “Free Maybelline mascara”
=> Your Ebook: “101 Camping Tips”

Kimberly’s Column: “School Fundraisers”

Hi everyone!

It’s back-to-school season and that means getting ready for doing this year’s school fundraisers. There’s the perennial decision to consider whether or not to try something different this year. And there’s always the volunteer recruiting and organizational challenges.

But, all in all, school fundraising can be great fun as well. It’s a chance to pitch in and make a difference. It’s also a great way to get to know new people and discover common ground with friends and neighbors.

So what school fundraisers are the easiest, the most profitable, the most fun, the most wonderful, etc.?

Well, there’s a lot of discussion of these ideas in our

You can also find out a lot more about the latest variations in school fundraising ideas in our articles about

This month’s Bonus is a free sample of Maybelline mascara.

This month’s free ebook is 101 Camping Tips.

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Readers Q & A: “Improving Fundraising Sales”

Question:  How can we improve on last year’s results with our catalog fundraiser? It’s the same set of candy and holiday wrapping paper that we’ve sold for the last three years. Help!
Janet S.

Answer:  You need to make sure the kids know what to say and you need to make sure they say it to a lot of people!

Use A Sales Script
Don’t send your sellers out unprepared. Part of youth sports is teaching. Helping kids with their sales skills goes a long way toward building self confidence.

Here’s what to tell them:
1 – Make eye contact, smile and introduce yourself.
2 – Say one sentence about why you are raising funds.
3 – Say second sentence that asks for their help.
4 – Make sure that sentence includes the word “because”.
5 – Extend sample item, catalog, or order sheet.
6 – Suggest a personal favorite item or bundle.
7 – Always ask for the order.

Increase Number Of Prospects
Once your kids know what to say, they have to have prospects for their sales pitch. Have everyone make a list of their potential customers.

Have each seller stand up in front of their teammates and state how many prospects they have. Then have them make a commitment to raising a certain financial amount. Set sales quotas. Encourage competition by offering prizes for top sellers.

Hope this helps!


You will find my book, Fundraising Success, very helpful in any
fundraising endeavor.

Buy a copy today because you’ll save both time and money!
Yours for only $17:

FEATURE ARTICLE: Donation Request Letter Tips

Do your donation request letters lack a protagonist? The most compelling appeal letters feature a man or a woman, a boy or a girl, that captures the donor’s attention and makes the appeal human, moving and profitable.

The most memorable novels, movies and television shows feature strong protagonists. The protagonist in a drama or story is the leading actor, the principal character. Some examples:

The Hobbit: Bilbo Baggins.
Moby Dick: Ishmael.
Great Expectations: Pip.
War and Peace: Pierre Bezukhov.
Catcher in the Rye: Holden Caulfield.

Out of Africa: Karen Blixen.
The Ten Commandments: Moses.
Star Wars: Luke Skywalker.
Gone with the Wind: Scarlett O’Hara.
My Fair Lady: Eliza Doolittle.

If you’re a hospital, your protagonist can be a heroic cancer patient.

If you’re a relief and development agency, your protagonist can be an aid worker serving AIDS orphans in Nigeria.

If you’re an environmental advocacy organization, your protagonist can be an activist chained to the railing outside the Indonesian Embassy in Ottawa.

If you’re an opera house, your protagonist can be your youngest, most promising singer.

A strong protagonist brings your fundraising letters alive because donors are people who give to people to help people. They don’t want to read about programs and policies. They want to read about people–the people you help, and your people who do the helping.

A protagonist helps you tell your institutional story in human terms, to translate your case for support into flesh and blood.

Here is an example, taken from a thank-you letter mailed by a hospital to donors who had recently joined the hospital’s monthly giving program:

Dear Mr. Sharpe,

I shook hands with our country’s youngest heart transplant patient the other day, and he asked me to thank you. You are now a vital member of the team that’s keeping Brad alive.

Brad Phillips was only a few months old when the surgeons here at the Bendix Memorial Hospital gave him a new heart, saving his life. That was back in 1985. Since then, Brad has been rushed to hospital by air ambulance, caught pneumonia too many times to remember, received a second heart transplant, been diagnosed with cytomegalovirus disease, suffered kidney failure, and fallen in love with the hospital staff.

“I actually spend more time with them than I do with the family that brought me up,” says Brad. “I’m sure glad we get along so well!”

Your donors will quickly understand and embrace your cause when you show, in dramatic ways, who you are and who you serve, rather than describe what you do by naming your programs or listing your services.

And the most vivid way to do that in a fundraising letter is to single out one person whom you help, or one person on your staff (or a volunteer), and to tell your story through that protagonist, showing them in action.
About the Author

Alan Sharpe is a professional fundraising letter writer, instructor, coach, author and newsletter publisher who helps non-profit organizations to raise funds, build relationships and retain loyal donors using cost-effective, compelling, creative fundraising letters. Sign up for free monthly tips like this at

Supplier Spotlight: Mr. Z’s

(Excerpt from my book, Fundraising Success!)

Supplier: Mr. Z’s Fund Raising Corp.
Phone: (414) 827-9771
Fax: (414) 827-9773
Address: PO Box 570
City: Grafton
State: WI
Zip: 53024

Description: Mr. Z’s has been helping non-profit groups raise millions &
millions of dollars worth of much needed funds for over 26 years.

Mr. Z’s is a full line, full service company. We service the United States
coast to coast (excluding Alaska and Hawaii).

We provide hundreds of different products from Z-licious frozen pizza,
quality gift items and wrap to candy bars, lollipops and magazine subscriptions.

Mr. Z’s puts together their own catalogs to consolidate the best offerings. One
example is their 26 item Frozen Foods catalog featuring cookie dough, pizza,
French Silk pie, garlic bread, etc.

Several of their small catalogs are designed to complement other catalogs
while restricting the offerings to just the best sellers.
Also adding online website shopping.

Product Lines: Candy, Candy – Case, Candy – Catalog, Catalog Sales,
Chocolate, Christmas Store, Cookie Dough, Food Items, Gift Items, Gift Wrap,
Holiday Gift Shop, Logo Products – Clothing, Lollipops, Magazines, Online
Shopping, Pizza, Rebates – from Referral Shopping, Snacks, Spirit Merchandise,
Website Shopping, Wrapping Paper

Terms: Prepay or terms available to qualified organizations.

Notes: Fundraising supplier for 26+ years.


Places To Go, Things To See, Bonus Item & More


Places to go:

Anatomy Online

With a longtime presence on the web, Professor Jim Swan of the University of New
Mexico has created a fine set of online anatomy and physiology resources that he
uses in his courses on a regular basis.

Students of the human body will also want to avail themselves of these
materials, which include sets of pathology images and slides that cover such
conditions as coronary artery thrombosis, atherosclerosis, and so on.

One rather handy section includes weblab modules that introduce acolytes to
the world of the heart, the lungs, and the digestive system through slides and
interactive photos. The site is rounded out by the “Virtual Microscope” area,
which includes detailed slides and explanations of cartilage, bone, blood, and
muscular tissue.

Things to see:

Algebra Basics

Under the motto, “Show me how, now!” Algebasics is a fine online mathematics
instructional resource that takes young and old alike through the basics of
algebra. The breadth of the material is divided into sixteen sections, which
begin with, well, “the basics”, and proceed all the way to a section on applying
algebra to real-world situations.

Each section asks users to solve a number of problems so that they will gain
mastery of each concept. The interface deployed here is quite user-friendly, as
each problem is narrated so that users will better understand the process needed
to complete each problem successfully. Overall, it’s a well-designed
introduction to this area of the mathematical universe, and one that is very
easy to use.

Bonus Item:

Free sample of Maybelline Mascara!

Click this link to score a free sample of Maybelline mascara!

Your Free Ebook:

Here is a collection of camping tips designed to assist both beginning and
experienced campers. I particularly appreciate the advice of “make sure your
camping equipment is working before you take it with you.”

Download here:

That’s all for this issue. See you next month.


Copyright 2006 by Kimberly Reynolds. All rights reserved.

Maximize your fundraising success!

Related Pages

Newsletters – All the Back

Fundraising Ideas – Ideas for fundraising
that focus on the best activities for high school, elementary school, sports teams, and youth groups to raise funds
with events, activities, programs, projects and products.

Fundraising Events – Three profitable event ideas
for small group or school fundraisers – Fundraiser events that are quick and easy –
Event ideas you
can do in a monthend that work anywhere from Canada to Australia.

School Fundraisers – Easy fundraising ideas for schools that consistently
produce excellent results. Includes articles on cheerleading, high school football,
soccer, and band, plus more great youth sports team activities and events for other high school groups.

Thank You Letters – Seven tips
on writing thank you letters, notes, or simple donor recognition phone calls.

Fundraising Letters – See what fund
raising letters work for other non-profit groups.

Fundraising Letter – How to
generate the best response with your donation request letters.

How To Write A Fundraising
– Advice and
tips on what works and what doesn’t.

Nonprofit Software – Listings and descriptions of popular software programs
for nonprofit groups. Donor tracking and recognition programs, nonprofit accounting, and capital campaign support.

Church Fundraisers – Church fundraising ideas for capital campaigns through donor recognition –
Christian fundraiser charity activities and events that produce quick results.

Articles – Full list of articles on high school fundraisers,
nonprofit fund raising, and great event ideas.