Donor-centered direct mail

“A mere ‘thanks’ doesn’t come close to the gratitude we all have for you.” ~ Jim Sardina, Annual Giving Manager, Sharp HealthCare, San Diego; direct mail client since 2009

“Last year’s mailing did phenomenally well….” ~ Heather H., Planned Parenthood affiliate, 2016

The letter below brought in more than 10,000 new gifts. It is donor-centered because it makes the donor, not the institution, the hero.


Dear [Salutation],

You came to Sharp Chula Vista as a patient, in need of help.

Thank you for that profound act of trust.

Now I come to you, humbly, to ask for your help in turn.

The cause for excellent health care, here in our community, needs you.

Will you consider becoming its champion… by making a gift to Sharp HealthCare Foundation?

As a patient, you’ve experienced firsthand Sharp Chula Vista’s award-winning health care. I sincerely hope you were satisfied with your outcome.

What patients perhaps don’t realize is just how much these good outcomes depend on the generosity of people like you and other residents in our community.

Philanthropy makes a huge contribution here at Sharp Chula Vista.

                                       Your gift makes a serious difference…

The truth is this: name any top hospital in America and you’ll discover that behind its continued success stand thousands of self-sacrificing benefactors. They are our champions.

Great — and ever-improving — health care is no accident. It depends in critical ways on the generous hearts of donors.

(Over please …)

My Verbatim Rule for direct mail clients

I write direct mail for a small group of clients. They have one thing in common: they’ve all agreed to my Verbatim Rule. That means they will not change a word of what I write except (of course) to correct any factual errors. The Verbatim Rule protects the client, not me.