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Annual Appeal Definition
An Annual Appeal is a coordinated, concentrated effort on the part of a school to plan one major, professional effort which can produce better results than many small campaigns.
An Annual Appeal is the cornerstone on which all other fundraising programs are built, and the place where all other well-conceived development programs begin. A cornerstone is a basic, essential element, it is the foundation.
An Annual Appeal is a broad, recurring, organized effort to seek funds for a nonprofit organization’s most pressing needs. It is the bread and butter of a Development Program because it produces a steady flow of cash and lays the foundation to cultivate donors for larger gifts in the future.
IMPORTANCE OF AN ANNUAL APPEAL
An Annual Appeal . . .
1. Is an excellent source of support for current and future operations
2. Is an excellent source of contact with school publics, parents, alumni, friends, parishioners and community
3. Builds a habit of regular giving
4. Broadens the base of support
5. Increases participation in the school
6. Builds long-term strength
OVERVIEW OF AN ANNUAL APPEAL
1. A pledge commitment campaign. The sources of support are the school faculty, staff, boards, alumni, parents, past parents, parishioners and friends.
2. The uses of the appeal funds vary: the school operating budget, including tuition assistance, is the major emphasis. It can also be used for endowment, staff salaries and enhancement, and specific projects.
3. The Appeal is not a substitute for other successful fundraising activities of the school. It is intended as the major source of regular income. It might however, allow for the dissolution of smaller, less successful, labor intensive and profit-poor fundraisers.
4. The Appeal will not diminish the revenue of other fundraising activities.
5. Generally a time frame of three to four months is needed to adequately complete the Appeal. It can be accomplished in less, but certain aspects of it will suffer.
6. The Appeal is intended to be an annual event.
KEY PARTS OF THE PLAN
1. Coordinating Committee / Sub-Committees
2. Leadership Meetings
3. Case for support and goal setting event (Planning Event)
4. Preparation and Production of Materials
5. Introductory Letters or Postcards
6. Lead Gift Committee Meetings and Solicitations
7. Kick-Off Event
8. Solicitation Letter and Materials
10. Closing the Appeal, Evaluation, Volunteer Party
11. Follow-Up, Pledge Reminders, Thank yous, Christmas Mailing
12. Annual Report
NECESSARY INGREDIENTS FOR SUCCESS
1. We all need to make the decision to support and participate in the Annual Appeal.
2. The school leadership must support the Appeal.
3. An adequate, constituency-wide awareness of the Appeal and its importance for the school.
4. A very broad involvement of people in every aspect of its planning and execution. There are never too many people engaged in the Plan.
KEYS TO SUCCESS
1. Quality School
2. Clear Mission / Vision
3. Strong case for Support
4. The Team
5. The Plan
6. The Leadership
7. The Spirit