Year ‘Round Lessons from a Year-End Appeal

Graphic representing the jump from 2022 to 2023

In the “Tom’s Takeaways” section of our December newsletter, we shared an end-of-year appeal from one of our clients that really hit a home run. I hope you found the suggestions to be valuable. Now, as we settle into 2023, there’s an important question to ask – How well will you position your outcomes in 2023?

I want to reinforce several of the fundraising points in that example and offer some tips for the coming year.

You might recall there were eight end-of-year fundraising appeal lessons covered in our recap. What may not have been obvious was that those eight points were subtly grouped into four focus areas that can impact every appeal you make – not just year end!

1) The Traditional Emotional Appeal


·      Start with a compelling story.

·      Be visually impactful.

·      Show the happy ending.

2) The Rational Appeal for Today’s Impact-Focused Environment


·      Demonstrate the value-add of the organization.

·      Provide impactful metrics of how the organization is both effective (get the job done) and efficient (little waste and a lot of bang for the buck).

·      Position a rational appeal (to those folks where emotional appeals don’t work or need more than a tug on the heartstrings, see the previous point).

3) A Clear Call to Action


·      Provide the various actions that a prospect can take that will connect them to the solution your organization provides.

4) Don’t Over-Do It


·      Remember, it’s a soft appeal – keep it positive.

How Nonprofits Can Raise More Year-Round

Most organizations address the traditional emotional appeal fairly well, as well as the call to action. Unfortunately, that’s where many organizations stop. In today’s fundraising climate, the rational appeal, which Convergent pioneered many years ago, has become a requirement to hit on all cylinders and get both sides of the brain engaged. In fact, we have seen time and time again that the larger the “ask” the more important it is to engage the rational side of the brain.

In short, the maximum success of the appeal will come from presenting both the emotional and the logical rationale. Convergent’s capital campaign consultants have been doing this for our clients for years. Our proven methodology has helped us raise billions of dollars collectively for nonprofits over the years. 

Capital Campaign Consulting and Resource Development Services

Now is the time of year to begin defining, collecting, and refining the outcomes (or impact) your organization delivers that are most meaningful to your funders. This is a critical aspect of a nonprofit resource development strategy. Doing so will ensure that you have the most meaningful message possible when it’s time for your next appeal – be it an annual, capital, or year-end campaign.


Whether you need help improving your resource development strategy, running a feasibility study, or executing a successful capital campaign, the experts at Convergent Nonprofit Solutions are here for you. Our industry leaders have helped countless organizations like yours navigate and succeed in their fundraising endeavors. Convergent’s consulting, resource development, fundraising, and support services extend to a comprehensive array of nonprofit specialties, including:

We invite you to contact our nonprofit consulting experts or take our quick quiz (The Fundraising Reality Check) to get started today!

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