You’re probably getting piles of solicitations in your mailbox every day right now. We all are.
Some frequently used packages always crack me up. I know these are so common because they work – though I’m not sure how “work” is defined, especially in the long-term.
There’s the nickel. No, wait, we’re up to a dime. (I just need to live long enough and I’ll be rich!)
There’s the fake telegram. (Does anyone still get telegrams?)
There’s the solicitation disguised as an invoice. (This one really bug me. I imagine all those sweet little old ladies scared into giving.)
And there are the envelopes marked “IMPORTANT”.
Important to whom?
I know they’re used because they’ve been tested and they get results. I suspect, but have no proof, that these results matter more to organizations with huge lists who can afford the “churn and burn” approach to fundraising. But that envelope marked “important” also betrays an approach that’s distinctly not focused on donors. They give it away with that one word.
I understand that it’s important to them that they get the envelope opened. But rarely is there something inside that actually is important to me. Is it the letter that’s important, or the cause?
Right now, “important” is down to a tightly focused few things for me: getting things ready for my family and Christmas and doing my best to maximize my organization’s success at year-end. It’s going to be very hard to break into the space family and work takes.
So if you claim it’s important, you’d better be ready to make a strong case. Just telling me it’s important doesn’t work. Show me.