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end of year appeal

Preparing Your Year-End Appeal

A year-end appeal to supporters is challenging in the best of times. How do you approach them in these times? Creatively, thoughtfully, methodically, and strategically.

Strategically. Let’s work backward and start with strategically. All effective messaging starts with a strategy that takes into consideration:

  • The audience
  • What they want to hear
  • What you need them to hear, and
  • What you want them to do.

It’s always wise to step back for a moment and think about your audience in terms of what they want to hear and what you need them to hear. Not everyone connected to you will respond to the same thoughts, feelings, and ideas. For example, younger adults may care more about your specific programs, and older adults may care more about your ongoing research or thought leadership.

"When it's time to go for the call-to-action, be specific, be real, be focused. Subtly has no place in a pandemic!"

However, just because they want to hear about your research activity doesn’t mean that’s what you need them to hear. If that’s the case, start with what they care about, then transition to what you want them to care about.

Try Minimalism for Better Messaging

by Kim Vanni, Senior Art Director

The rise of minimalism in design has an entire generation to thank. It’s no secret that the world is increasingly influenced by the Millenials, whose population is reported to now surpass their Baby Boomer grandparents. Millennials have more formal education than any generation in U.S. history and tend to be vocal and hold strong opinions. It’s no wonder their influence is so potent.


In this new, recurring feature of Focal Point, we profile people and organizations on a mission! If you have someone to suggest, let us know!

Boston-based Community Servings provides medically-tailored, nutritious, scratch-made meals to chronically and critically ill individuals and their families. They envision a world in which everyone has a fundamental right to the nutritious food they need for health and well-being. In addition to feeding the critically ill.

Community Servings also offers nutrition education and counseling, food service job training, and volunteer programs.

Their annual Pie in the Sky fundraiser is in full swing, which means that their scratch-made pies for Thanksgiving are on sale now. Every $30 pie sold will feed a critically-ill person for a week. For full details, visit

What will you say?

Focal Pointing

Focal Pointing shares some of the books, podcasts, and emails that are helping us learn, create, and grow.

Have one to share? Please do!

The Solution Revolution
by William Eggers and Paul Macmillan

Pioneer Post
The Social Enterprise Magazine

Social Entrepreneurship & Innovation

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It’s November! Happy Easter.

Well Said

Service is the rent we pay for the privilege of living on this earth.

—Shirley Chisholm

Shirley Chisholm, born this month in 1924, was an American politician, educator, and author. In 1968, she became the first African-American woman elected to the United States Congress. In the 1972 United States presidential election, she became the first African-American candidate for a major party’s nomination for President, and the first woman to run for the Democratic Party’s nomination.

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