Nov 20, 2010

Fundraising Kudos to: Alameda County Community Food Bank

It's the season for holiday appeal letters, and given the flood of them, it takes a lot for one to stand out. But I received an appeal card from the Alameda County Community Food Bank recently that took a clever approach.

The front of the card showed an incredibly cute smiling baby, with the words "'Tis the Season." Upon opening the card, you see the words, "To Fill Hungry Tummies." But here's what I thought was the kicker: The next line says, "Before you read any further, look at the little guy on the front one more time."

And you know what? I did. With that one simple command, the writer stopped me in my usual tracks -- which normally involve tearing up these letters -- and got me to look into the face of a (presumably) needy kid. (Actually, he looks about as well fed as a kid can. But as I said, he was cute!) Drawing the reader's attention in for a closer look has to be the number one goal of charity appeal letters, and this one did that admirably. The rest of the letter was pretty darn good, too.