2013 marks the 14th anniversary of the Annual Giving Appeal Exchange, and Jill Dooley and her team at Grand Valley State University have graciously (and foolishly) agreed to co-host the exchange with me this year.
If you're not familiar with the Appeal Exchange, it's like one big virtual annual giving sample gift box for you and your annual giving program. You share samples of your annual giving appeals from this past year, and you'll see samples from every other institution that participates in the exchange in return.
Each year, hundreds of institutions contribute thousands samples, and what began 14 years ago as a direct mail exchange has evolved steadily to include email appeals, videos, and other types of annual and regular giving solicitations.
And there's still no cost, except for some help with the shipping costs if you’d like to share and receive paper samples (see below).
There are three ways to participate in the Annual Giving Appeal Exchange, so read this carefully. We're trying to accommodate those who want to painlessly participate digitally in the exchange, as well as those who want to really touch and feel paper samples. So, you have several options:
1. You can share digital samples, via pdf, Web links, or email copies of your annual giving appeals via email. In return, you'll receive access to the Annual Giving Appeal Exchange online collection (including five years of previously-shared samples.) You won't receive any paper-copy samples, and you don’t need to register. This is the easiest way to participate, and there's no cost.
Or, 2.You can share paper samples, by sending in 50 sets of your paper sample appeals. If you're more tactile, have leftover paper appeals, and want to touch and feel direct mail samples from other institutions, you can participate in the paper-sharing component of the exchange You'll receive, in return, paper samples from other participating institutions.
Or, 3.You can do both. Many institutions send paper samples as well as sharing copies or links to their samples via email. Sign up for the paper sample sharing, and send in your digital samples as well.
Here is the drill for 2013:
For digital sample sharers…
You don’t need to register anymore. Just share your digital pdf samples, email samples, links to Facebook pages, LinkedIn groups, YouTube video samples, Web addresses or any other new media samples you wish to include. Email your samples and links to: Samples@FundList.info, or Samples@bobburdenski.com. Please include your contact information in your message(s). You can send multiple emails if you like. Please save direct mail pdf samples in a low-file-size resolution, and if possible, sort them by audience so we can group appeals by prospect audience. If you're sharing digital samples only, we'll send you login instructions for accessing the Annual and Regular Giving Appeal Exchange repository.
Please say a few words about your appeals. What worked well? What didn't? What are you most proud of? Help the other participants understand what "the rest of the story" was with your annual giving appeals. Put some notes in with your sharing.
We will compile a master listing of all participants and their contact names and will post it for participants who have additional questions about specific samples.
Institutions around the world are welcome to participate in the digital sample sharing. Paper sample participants are limited to the US and Canada. Please contact us if you any questions.