If you're over a certain age, you may remember when everyone wrote letters all the time. Every day, the mailbox contained a handful of letters from friends and family.
Times have changed. You probably haven't received a personal letter from a real person in a while. You're a lot more likely to get a letter from a lawyer or someone else you'd rather not hear from.
The personal letter has all but died out -- killed by email and other quicker, more convenient communication channels.
But the letter is still the powerhouse of fundraising. It lives on like a prehistoric throwback, because it still works.
It's strange, but a letter that is:
- On letterhead
- Starts with a salutation
- Has a signature
- Has a P.S.
Try and replace the letter with some cool designed piece that's easier to read, rich with photography, branded to the hilt -- it's unlikely to work.
That's because most donors grew up on letters. Unlike you or me, a letter in the mailbox for them is still a sign of personal contact. Something joyful.
Depart from the conventions of the letter at your own peril!
It's possible that when you and I are elderly and people our age are the majority of donors the letter won't have the power it has now.
But until that day, stick with a letter.