I wish I had a dollar for every time I had someone say to me, “Yah, but we could never do the Ruby pack.” I really do, because I’d be rich.
What’s that? What’s the Ruby pack? Ok. Let me back track a little.
The Ruby pack was a mailing we came up with for Ontario Nature a while ago. In a nutshell (if you aren’t looking at the old links), it was a mail piece from Ruby, the hummingbird. Ruby was mailing the lovely donors of Ontario Nature, explaining her challenging plight to get from Costa Rica to the Boreal Forest. She sent photo’s of herself, a map of her route and a heart-felt letter that would make you pound the desk at the injustice.
She even signed it with her own bird print.
And no, you could never do that.
A few other things you can’t do: you can’t have a cute little truck, whose mission in life, from the moment its battery was placed inside its engine, was to pick up food and deliver it to who needed it the most. You also can not have Marky the Marmot explain why his, and the survival of his family is so important and show donors how they can help make sure they don’t go extinct. Also off the table, Santa Claus promising to give up smoking for the donors of the Lung Association, or Santa describing the horrendous scene at the north pole of caribou wallowing in oil slicks and tankers running aground…
You can’t do any of those either. Sorry.
You DO have a Ruby, Larry, Truck or Santa story in you. I promise.
It just takes some work and creativity to find it.
I often have heard the phrases, “Oh this is too juvenile for our donors.” “Our donors are too smart for this.” “Our donors like lots of figures and stats…” “Our donors don’t like…” “Our donors only respond to…”
Sorry. It’s all bull crap.
I have to tell you something and I (looks around cautiously) don’t want everyone to over hear it. Come closer…
Your donors like to be surprised. They like to laugh and be delighted. They like – no – LOVE the thrill of getting something they would have never expected from your organization…
I know. I can hear heads exploding all over the world as these words are read. But it’s the truth.
When was the last time a donor called you up laughing and smiling from an appeal they got from you?
Time to get to work.