Your Ultimate Guide to Successful Year End Appeals E-Course

How to take your year-end fundraising appeal to new heights with some simple art and science that will make your hard work really pay off!

Does your E.D. insist on a one-page letter, even if it has to be in 10-point font?

Are you getting worried because you’re running out of time and you just don’t have a clue where to start to write? Or do you have a letter, but nothing to go with it?

Have you ever had a Board chair say “That’s not how I talk, rewrite it!”?

Do you want to renew donors at higher dollar levels, but can’t figure out a compelling reason to ask for increased gifts?

If the answer to any of these questions is “yes,” then I invite you to join me for the next five weeks to learn how to develop and implement a successful annual appeal for your organization.

Why is Your Year-End Appeal So Important?

This is the giving season! From mid November through December 31st many nonprofits will raise up to 40% of their total annual campaign goal. And a full third (33%) of December gifts occur on the 31st of the month! If you’re not putting forward your most compelling fundraising offer at a timed when folks are primed to give the most, you’re really missing your best opportunity.

Whether you are an old pro and just want some new tips, or you’re writing your appeal letter for the first time, you’ll find killer strategies and tried-and-true tactics in this e-course to get your appeal letter to the next level. We’ll cover it all.

 “I stand by the recycling bin to open my mail. If something looks like junk, I toss it without opening it. I just get too many solicitations.”

Is this what your prospective donors are saying?  Do you focus all your attention on crafting the perfect letter, forgetting that it’s all worthless if the envelope doesn’t get opened?

“I hate it when I get a solicitation letter and I can’t figure out what they’re going to spend the money on. It just looks like they want money!”

Does your Call to Action lack clarity? Are you telling a compelling story showing a prospective donor how their gift will have direct, immediate impact? If you’re ignoring any of the elements that go into making a compelling fundraising offer, then you’re ignoring your organization’s future.

Your Ultimate Guide to Successful Year-End Appeals E-Course gives you everything you need to make this year’s solicitation package the best ever – STARTING RIGHT AWAY!

  • Make sure your envelope gets opened
  • Craft killer opening lines
  • Make it easy for your reader to understand why you’re asking
  • Learn how to use stories and statistics for the greatest impact
  • Find out which words to use a lot of – and which words to never use!
  • Learn the essential elements of an “I will give to you now!” reply card
  • Use social media and tweak your website and landing page to leverage your work and boost your results
  • Have fun writing your letter and creating your package!!

If you know your year-end appeal needs a shot in the arm, if you know that flourishing year-end giving is the very foundation of sustainable fundraising, and if you know you could be doing it better, Your Ultimate Guide to Successful Year-End Appeals is for you!

Here’s How It Works

Your Ultimate Guide to Successful Year-End Appeals is a five-week eCourse. We break down the process into segments so it’s easy for you to manage – and less overwhelming than a workshop or conference. It includes written content, recorded webinars and hands-on materials to guide you incrementally towards your goal – raising more money!

Every Tuesday in September you will receive an email containing the week’s course materials (in PDF format).

September 1, Week One: Getting Ready to Write: What’s in your toolkit?

  • How to gather your powerful, emotional stories
  • Build and polish your mailing list
  • Not all prospects are created equal – get better results with segmentation
  • Chase your worries away with a donor survey
  • How to encourage folks to read your pearls of passion
  • Where to start — with the P.S.!
  • Begin to think ahead — add some supporting email too!

BONUS: A gift of Tons of Money in the Mail, a webinar by Mazarine Treyz

Tons-of-money-in-the-mail-webinar“Your Tons of Money In the Mail webinar gave me many fresh ideas that I would like to incorporate into my upcoming mailings. I plan to review my notes and the supplemental materials provided in order to create an “action plan” for the lessons learned. Thank you!” -Amanda Parker, Grants and Development Manager, OPERA America

September 8, Week Two: The Whole Enchilada… and a Nice Cheesy Story

  • What emotions make your donors give
  • How to tell your best emotional story
  • Key elements of your compelling appeal letter
  • One little word that makes a HUGE difference in your appeal
  • Breaking down a stunning appeal package, piece by piece


SampleYearEndAppealTimelineBONUS: Sample Year-End Appeal Timeline – Takes you backwards, step-by-step, from the date you plan to drop your appeal to all the things you need to do several weeks prior to that date.By Mazarine Treyz


Anatomy of an Appeal + TemplateBONUS: Anatomy of a Fundraising Appeal Letter + Sample Template – Includes a baker’s dozen of essential appeal letter elements, segmentation variations, an email appeal example. what to include in your response device, a Resource Guide with lots of links to other resources… and more! Everything you Need to Make a Fundraising Offer Your Donor Can’t Refuse, by Claire Axelrad


BONUS: How to Write a Stunning Direct Mail package, piece by piece, a webinar by Mazarine Treyz

Stunning-Direct-Mail-webinarYour How to Write Stunning Appeal Letters webinar was sooooo good! Thanks so much for the best training in years. Clear. Concise. Real world examples. Great pace. Loved it!” -Julie Nations, Executive Director, The Ellie Fund, Boston, MA

 September 15, Week Three: Writing, Editing and Design Oh My!

  • How to analyze your writing to make your story even more powerful
  • How to increase the impact of your appeal 10 fold
  • Killer opening lines
  • Making your pictures tell a story
  • Super-effective Calls to Action

BONUS: Donor-Centered Appeal Checklist


September 22, Week Four: Get the Appeal and Your Donor’s Wallet Opened

  • Envelopes that Scream Open Me!
  • Who’s the Letter From?
  • Can I Skim it?
  • New Enclosures Trends
  • How Personal Can You Get?
  • How Easy Can You Make it for Me?

Tons of Sample Appeal Letters

BONUS: Starting Your Swipe File with the Grand Controls, by Mazarine Treyz

September 29, Week Five: Close the Loop – Spread the Love

  • How to boost response with follow-up calls
  • Leveraging social media to walk your talk!
  • Don’t forget to thank – the right and wrong way
  • How email is different – make your emails burst with gratitude
  • When to make the perfect thank you phone call

Crucial-Year-End-Giving-WebinarBONUS:  Crucial Year End Giving, a webinar by Mazarine Treyz.




BONUS: Year-End Fundraising To-Do’s + Checklist – There’s still time to make sure you’re not just doing things the right way, but that you’re doing the right things! By Claire Axelrad

What’s In the Class?

Your Ultimate Guide to Successful Year-End Appeals will run from Tuesday September 1st to Tuesday September 29th.  This class runs completely online, and all materials will be delivered electronically.  The process is broken into segments so it’s easy for you to manage – and less overwhelming than a workshop or conference. It includes written content, pre-recorded webinars to enjoy at your convenience and a variety of hands-on materials to guide you incrementally towards your goal – raising more money!

Every Tuesday for five weeks you — and up to four additional team members —  will receive an email containing the week’s course materials (in PDF format).

Each guide contains 20 – 30 pages and presents everything you need to know to kick start or rev up your year-end appeal, and develop a system that produces exceptional results for your nonprofit. You’ll find this course to be more robust than many others out there, with plenty of practical tips, worksheets, exercises and checklists to reinforce your learning and serve as handy tools this year and in the future. Why? We know this is an investment for you, and want you to think it’s worth it!

Testimonial Ult YearEndAppealscourseThe amount of information and specific examples to support it were so useful. We followed the advice carefully, step by step. Appreciated the detailed resources and extra bonus materials. Thanks so much! — Class Participant

Thank you so much. With your help we raised twice what we did with our letter in previous years. — Meals on Wheels affiliate

Wow! We raised $37,000 with our year-end appeal letter, despite starting late and having more competition. — Senior Services nonprofit

Who is this Course For? 

This course is for

  • CEOs and Executive Directors
  • Development Directors
  • Development Staff
  • Marketing Staff
  • Volunteers involved with your annual giving campaign

Even better? Register as many as four additional staff or volunteers with no extra charge!

Ask Questions — Get Answers!

This course is taught by me and the astounding Mazarine Treyz, author of Wildwoman Fundraising. Why listen to us?

Claire_54_180x200Claire Axelrad, J.D., CFRE, has 30+ years experience in the fundraising trenches. Named Outstanding Fundraising Professional of the Year by the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Claire coaches, speaks, consults and teaches the CFRE course certifying professional fundraisers. A regular contributor to Nonprofit Pro and Guidestar, her blog was  named “2013 Top Fundraising Blog” by Fundraising Success Magazine.

Mazarine TreyzMazarine Treyz, author of  Wild Woman’s Guide to Fundraising and Wild Woman’s Guide to Social Media, has helped small nonprofits raise more with killer appeals since 2007.  She has co-founded a nonprofit, been a one-person fundraising shop and helped boost fundraising results by as much as 100% — simply by using a winning combination of art, science, online and offline, to engage and reactivate donors.

All participants in this course will have direct email access to both Claire and Mazarine for questions about the course materials and how they apply to your non-profit. We’re here to help your organization succeed!

What Does It Cost?

You can register yourself and up to four others from your team, including volunteers, all for one low inclusive price of just $137 for all five modules — a crazy bargain for 5 weeks of Curriculum Guides, 3 awesome BONUS WEBINARS and 5 more BONUS  templates, checklists, cheat sheets. Can you believe all the bonuses? Plus you get direct email access to Claire and Mazarine.

The webinars alone are over a $300 value. Add in all the other freebies — the scripts, letter samples, templates and more — plus the robust curriculum modules, and you’re getting more than you’d get at a conference that could cost you $500 – $1,500. Yet you get to learn in the comfort of your own home, office or favorite cafe.  And the notes are already taken for you! Even if you’re not around on one of the days/times the course is delivered, it’s no problem. Everything is prepared in advance and pre-recorded, so it’s all yours to keep, review and revisit at your leisure. Pretty swell, no? Note: This price is significantly less than just one hour of consulting time.

Register Now to Reserve Your Space before midnight August 29th.  You’ll love it!

Yet if you’re not satisfied for any reason, I’ll refund your money – no questions asked.