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How to Prepare Your Brand for Your End of Year Appeal

Posted by on September 7th, 2021
Posted in Blog, Fundraising Case, Nonprofit Fundraising   

As the calendar turns to fall, many Development Directors’ thoughts turn to end of year appeals. Traditionally, this is a time of increased giving, whether it’s a reflection of the holiday spirit or strategic tax planning.

How can you make your end of year fundraising communications stand out? Lean into your brand.

Your brand provides clues about how to engage your stakeholders in any communications. Here are three tips to consider as you craft on-brand appeals that will remind your donors why their partnership with you is vital to mission success:

1. Walk in the shoes of your donors.

Good donor stewardship means you likely already know WHY your donors support you. What are their passion areas within your mission? Are they motivated by your work with teens, older adults, or your unique approach? What other nonprofits are on their minds as they consider their end of year giving? By putting yourself squarely in the mindset of your recipient, you stand a better chance of developing communications that speak to them and move them to action (this is an appeal, after all).

2. Consider your Brand Experience.

How do you want stakeholders to feel when they engage with you? Your communications are just one way they can experience your organization, but committing to that idea ensures you will reinforce it at every opportunity. We recently completed work with a youth development agency that wants their key stakeholders “to feel excited, because together [with this agency] we connect to Denver in a meaningful and impactful way.” Right there, they’ve got some clues on how to approach their annual appeal.

3. Let your personality guide you.

When we work with clients, we help them articulate their brand personality. In short, this answers the question, “If your organization were a person and walked through the door, how might you describe them?” Having a consistent personality starts to build your brand. This same youth development agency’s personality is smart, committed, empathetic and fun. Can’t you just hear how they might write an appeal that reinforces those attributes?

One final and important note: as you consider your end of year fundraising, remember that these appeal letters are only one variable in a much larger equation. I’m indebted to Vu Yee’s excellent post on community centric fundraising and to the movement in general to continue pushing how we ground fundraising in racial and economic justice. There is nothing more appealing than that.


If you want to begin to build your organization’s brand and generate unique experiences for your stakeholders, Mission Minded can help! Let us know how we can support your next brand project.



Sarah R. Moore, our Director of Brand Strategy, joined Mission Minded from a career that has spanned both the private and nonprofit sector.

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