I promised to provide very practical advice. Here’s a quick tip that will improve virtually all your written communications: fold your letters so the donor names shows up when they open the envelope.

This simple technique is powerful.

Studies and experience show that if people open an envelope, they’re looking for their name. So let’s make it really easy for them to find. Just about every nonprofit uses mail to fundraise. But I’m shocked by how few charities actually examine their fundraising letters and the “package” they send.

The C-foldSo often, the mail I get doesn’t even have my name! It’s just a “Dear friend” photocopied sheet. But even if it does have my name, it’s amazing how many times it’s folded in a way that makes me work to see it. The classic “c fold” buries my name. Worse, if it’s printed on both sides, I see the back before I see the front.

Presumably, you put the information on the front because it was most important. But that’s not what I see with this fold.


The Z-foldAn easy way to overcome all this is the “z fold.” Folding a letter like this allows the donors name to be the first thing she sees. This provides a sense of relief. “Ah, this is for me.” And leads to the question, “I wonder what it’s about.”

I always use a z fold. To be even more practical, I insert the letter so that the address if facing the back of the envelope. Why? Most of us will turn the envelope over when opening it.

Simple. Practical. Effective. Who could ask for more? 🙂

After spending two hours of signing and folding pledge reminders today, I thought I’d share with you my love of the “z-fold.”

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