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Mass Appeal: Top-Notch Fundraising Appeals - Art for Water

It's November and it's that time of the year! No, not the obligatory start of Christmas marketing... annual appeal season! As the year winds down, and our minds turn to being thankful and generous, we are suddenly assailed at every turn by fundraising appeals from every non-profit under the sun. Whether its your niece's ballet studio, your best friend's ensemble theatre company, or your cousin's new film project... everyone wants a piece of the action.

How is your fundraising appeal going to stand out from the rest? Most fundraising professionals will tell you that the average person only gives to a handful of projects every year, so it's imperative that your annual appeal makes an impact and gets you to the top of your donor's list. We've identified some top-notch appeals that really impressed us, here in the Fractured Atlas offices. We thought we'd share them with you to inspire you to get your own fundraising appeal into tip-top shape!

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Founded by Christine Destrempes, Art for Water is a fiscally sponsored project of Fractured Atlas that educates and promotes creative self-expression, collaboration and activism around water rights and conservation. This year, Art for Water sent out this appeal to donors asking them to renew their support.

What makes this appeal top notch:

  • Powerful, concise, and direct opening sentence: This letter cuts to the chase with a whopper of an opening line. Not only do you get a clear sense of what Art for Water is advocating for (safe drinking water), it also ties this need to a tangible number (1.5 million children). And not just any number... children. I also don't think it's a coincidence that the first image in this appeal is of an adorable child learning about storm drain pollution.

  • Demonstrate success: This appeal starts its second and meatiest paragraph with more clearly defined metrics and shows how the safe water movement has made real change over the past few decades.

  • Provide giving levels, and tie them to tangible needs: Donors are more likely to give to a project that they trust. Part of building that trust is transparency. These giving levels not only offer a nice range, allowing donors of all levels to feel like their contribution is valuable, they also identify the key needs of the organization.

Think you have a top-notch fundraising appeal? Send a PDF copy of your appeal along with a description of your organization or project to with the subject line "Mass Appeal Submission" and you and your project may be featured on our blog!