Whatsinmymailbox


I’ve spotlighted Mercy Corps before, and I’m sure it’s not hard for you to see why. Their packets, from the letter, to the response device, to the thoughtful little extras, keep me consistently excited to receive mail from them. This most recent communication from their organization is no exception. They basically did everything right here, and then some. Here are a few positives that caught my attention right away…

1. The storytelling is pure perfection. This is a great story, and it’s told simply and succinctly: it’s about a farmer who wants to feed his family but has to work against destructive, volatile weather conditions. Mercy Corps does so much, and they’re located all over the world, and yet they’ve zeroed in on this one story, and told it well. Plus, it’s got a happy ending: Lino has a fish pond and is raising tilapia to sustain his family.

2. The kind of specificity here is the kind that motivates giving. The donor is brought into the equation and spoken to in a direct way that clearly communicates that their support is crucial when it comes to the hunger problem. Giving is explained, with specific numbers lead to specific positive outcomes: $20 provides enough fish to feed 25 families, and so on.

3. The personalization is off the charts, from the “Dear Pamela,” to the P.P.S. Address labels are included, and it’s a nice little touch, because it lets those who are lucky enough to receive mail from me that I share a relationship with Mercy Corps. Even the response device is personalized!

4. The simplicity of the response device is just awesome. And Mercy Corps lets me know that I’m not just giving to them — I’m giving to hungry families like Lino’s. The “Hungry Families Need Your Help” at the top is compelling, and so is, again, the personalization right there on the device.

5. The special little touches ramp it up to the next level. The address labels were nice to receive, and the Chinese proverb card was super memorable. I’ve come across the familiar proverb countless times over the course of my life, but never have I encountered it in this way, and it’s lovely.

Mercy Corps is familiar to many not only for the wonderful work that they do, but because of their global reach. They extend to all corners of the world. Do you receive communications from them, and if so, have you found any in particular especially memorable?

Screen Shot 2016-05-25 at 7.12.12 AM

{ 0 comments }

What’s in my Inbox | A reactivation email example

May 24, 2016

The situation: you’re a new communications staffer or development director, hired following a two year gap in staffing. The last time your organization’s email list heard from you was in 2014. What do you do? Or maybe your open rate has drastically slipped. Is it your copy? Your email service provider? How can you re-engage? […]

Read the full article →

Power of Nonprofit Storytelling | Superhero Brandon Stanton helps fight pediatric cancer…with great storytelling!

May 23, 2016

Brandon Stanton wears many hats. Photographer, blogger, Humans of New York founder, and story curator are just a few of them. With his beloved Facebook HONY page, he has created a space through which he shares photos and stories, provides a platform for human interaction, and broadens connections between people by way of understanding, compassion, […]

Read the full article →

Fundraising Friday | May 20, 2016

May 20, 2016

Swipe files can save so much time – not to copy from (never!), but providing just the right phrase when you need one. What Ebay can teach you about swipe files. This week’s What’s in my Inbox. Are your email communications on a schedule? They should be. Consistency is a must for relationship building. I […]

Read the full article →

What’s in my Inbox | What Ebay can teach you about swipe files

May 17, 2016

One of my shortest (but fondest) career stints happened awhile back, back when I needed to be home with one of my children for an extended period of time. I quit my job and embarked on a one-year adventure as an eBay seller. Every week, I would travel the countryside attending various auctions. Like folks […]

Read the full article →

Fundraising Friday | May 13, 2016

May 13, 2016

Heartfelt thanks to the dozens of you who responded to my call last Friday for Give Local America experiences. We’ve compiled your thoughts (and mine) in When Giving Days Go Wrong |Give Local America. Oh and PLEASE don’t think that my recommendation means to be fearful of technology. If your nonprofit is going to survive […]

Read the full article →

Doing the Nonprofit Happy Dance

May 12, 2016

Today’s guest post is from Grow Report subscriber, Kelley Carpenter, Director of Development and Marketing for Cross Lines Community Outreach. Barely three months into my new job as Director of Development and Marketing at a small, 50+ year old nonprofit, our agency was having a crisis. Money, as always, was extremely tight and there was […]

Read the full article →

What’s in my Mailbox | Non-profit Grades Itself on Performance

May 11, 2016

Today’s What’s in my Mailbox is a cross posting from the Passionate Giving blog of Veritus Group. If you’re looking for an extraordinary example of impact reporting, look no further. Be sure, too, to check out the Veritus Group’s free training on how to create a plan to deepen your donor relationships. This is just […]

Read the full article →

What’s in my Inbox | Mother’s Day matters — even to nonprofits and their communications!

May 10, 2016

This past Sunday, we celebrated Mother’s Day, encouraging love and appreciation for moms everywhere. Whether it was breakfast served in bed, homemade cards, a spa pampering, or indulging in brunch at the Radnor Hotel (yes, that last one was me), moms were reminded of how special they are in countless ways. I was delighted to […]

Read the full article →

When Giving Days Go Wrong |Give Local America

May 9, 2016

Give Local America, a single-day, online-only event that aims to “mobilize widespread individual giving on a local level,” happened on May 3rd. This annual rally brought thousands of people together to support local nonprofits in their communities. For the third consecutive year, participating community foundations encouraged local nonprofits to get involved. GLA is still in […]

Read the full article →

Fundraising Friday | May 6, 2016

May 6, 2016

Is there a schoolteacher in your database who could leave you a $2 million gift? Does this idea sound at all absurd to you? I hope not. Either way, there’s this week’s Power of Nonprofit Storytelling, Never underestimate the power of a schoolteacher! because it’s not just a pipe dream. When it comes to our […]

Read the full article →

What’s in my Inbox | How to inspire…NOT

May 3, 2016

Take a second and put yourself in your donors’ shoes. Your donors want to feel inspired. They want to feel that they’re making a genuine difference through their gift. So imagine how I felt when I opened this email today… This is from an organization to whom I used to make monthly gifts awhile ago. […]

Read the full article →

Power of Nonprofit Storytelling | Never underestimate the power of a schoolteacher!

May 2, 2016

One aspect of my job that I absolutely love is the opportunity to speak with a variety of nonprofits on a regular basis. Located all across the country (and beyond), these organizations are dedicated to doing great work and creating the kind of change that matters. They do different things and have their own unique […]

Read the full article →

Fundraising Friday | April 29, 2016

April 29, 2016

In this week’s Power of Storytelling, we see the story of Lucas Bennett Ruddy, a child who was diagnosed with a rare and painful illness called Wiscott-Aldrich Syndrome as an infant, and his journey toward a healthy life. Every day’s a holiday. How are you celebrating? Never miss an opportunity to connect with your wonderful […]

Read the full article →

Where are you going, where have you been: advice to my younger self

April 28, 2016

If you’re like me, you didn’t start out intending to be a fundraiser. Some people start out in the Peace Corps. Some were sentenced to community service. Some began in volunteering. I think it’s fair to say that most of us fell into fundraising by chance. I did. These days, I  think of my “falling […]

Read the full article →

What’s in my Mailbox | How to Take Your Donors’ Breath Away

April 27, 2016

Guest post by Simple Development Systems’ member, Rachel Ramjattan, CFRE Have you ever had one of those moments when someone special is hurting and you’re too far away for a hug? A few weeks ago my friend and colleague, Sandy Rees, lost her beloved horse, Harley. I felt her heart shatter so I did the […]

Read the full article →

What’s in my Inbox | Every day’s a holiday…

April 26, 2016

Every day’s a holiday… And in keeping with that idea, when it comes to your donor communications, there’s always something to celebrate. Don’t believe me? Check out the General Philanthropy calendar that you can download and pin to your bulletin board. Each month is chock-full of golden opportunities for you to carpe diem and let […]

Read the full article →

Power of Nonprofit Storytelling | Building connections through storytelling: video and crowdfunding

April 25, 2016

A special shout out to Lesley Pinder for finding this touching video that I never would have come across on my own. Thank you, Lesley! When it comes to storytelling, we already know how videos can do great things when done right. But what about using a video as a tool to create a connection? […]

Read the full article →

Fundraising Friday | April 21, 2016

April 22, 2016

Global Autism Project with a a month of powerful stories in this week’s Power of Nonprofit Storytelling. Do charitable campaigns on social media platforms actually “click” with the public? A new study by researchers from Johns Hopkins University suggests that such campaigns can draw the attention of users, but not always their commitment to donate […]

Read the full article →

Power of Nonprofit Storytelling | The Global Autism Project: Melissa’s story matters, and so does yours!

April 18, 2016

The Global Autism Project, a Basics & More alum, has been in the habit of collecting stories from their clients for over 13 years. April is Autism Awareness Month, and GAP is embracing this as the invaluable opportunity that it is. They’ve formed a relationship between their email and their call to action, which is […]

Read the full article →