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Step 4 (continued). Special Appeals

Special appeals solicit contributions beyond annual dues from members or from a broader group of individuals. They identify a specific need of the organization, such as a new program or new equipment, and ask for their assistance in meeting that need.

Before sending a special appeal, you should consider the following:

  • Your organizational capacity. Only organizations with a successful membership renewal program should consider undertaking a special appeals program.
  • Timing. It is important to schedule special appeals when they will have the least possible impact on membership renewals. April (tax time) and summer and are not good times for special appeals.
  • Who to include. You can include all members. However, you may want to exclude people who have given within the past month and major donors. You may also want to expand your appeal to others in the community who may have a particular interest in the special need that is the focus of your appeal.
  • How you will respond. Prompt and meaningful thank you notes are essential. For a special appeal, you also want to update donors about the progress of the special project that they supported. This can be done through an additional mailing or your organization's newsletter.

Citation: See Resources, Works Cited #19

Additional Resources on Special Appeals

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