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Care in Crisis Appeal

Care in Crisis Appeal
My friend and former supervisor, Ryan, contacted me in March 2020 for help with his Care in Crisis campaign. He had taken a position as Executive Director of a crisis pregnancy center, and the COVID-19 pandemic was threatening to eviscerate their budget. Their client base had nearly tripled in less than two months, while experts were predicting a 40% drop in revenue across all nonprofits. In a cover letter with the org's annual report, Ryan wanted to inspire supporters to commit to a 4-month pledge to better serve clients hit hard by the pandemic. It was a bold ask. Ryan had drafted a letter but wanted my input on its effectiveness. Here was his first draft:
Dear Care Net Family, 

One of the things I focused on in my first year was to clarify the story of our ministry to local moms and their pre-born children.

When you give to Care Net, who are you serving and what does she need most? How can we let her know that we care…and that we have a plan to help?  Here’s part of what we came up with:

“Are you looking at a positive pregnancy test and wondering what to do next?  We know it feels like your whole life just got turned upside down.  We see you.  We want to help.”

Has Covid-19 turned your life upside down?  Has the anxiety and despair that torments our clients crept your story in the past few months?  Maybe someone close to you has contracted the Corona virus.  Maybe you’re one of the millions who lost their job. Maybe you’re a work-from-home-school mom now.  There’s another part of the Care Net story we all need to hear:
           
            “There’s still hope.  We can get through this, together.

At Care Net, Covid-19 turned our story upside down too. Your faithful giving to serve moms and save babies on the Peninsula made 2019 the most fruitful year in our history. THANK YOU!  But now, we must adapt to a new chapter brought about by the Corona virus: Care in Crisis.

The women you serve through Care Net now face a crisis on top of a crisis.  Incredibly, God is using this ‘double crisis’ for his glory.  The number of vulnerable clients has TRIPLED since the pandemic.  Multiple babies are being saved from abortion every day and we’ve had at least one client give her life to Jesus each week.

There’s another part to the Care in Crisis story.  The impact of Covid 19 on local churches and the economy is unprecedented.  We are bracing for a decline in revenue of 40%.  If that happens we will have no choice but to make major cuts.  This will have a devastating impact on the moms and babies we serve each day.

The good news is we’ve worked hard to be a good steward of your resources: we have a rainy day fund.  We’re also going line by line through our budget to find savings wherever we can.

But in order to continue to offer the essential services we provide to local moms, we need those who are able to give to our Care In Crisis campaign.  Starting today, we’re asking for a special 4-month pledge to give a gift of $XX, $XXX, or $XXXX each month for 4 months.

Your 4-month pledge will ensure that the fruit we’re seeing today can continue throughout the Covid-19 Crisis and beyond.  You can make a one-time gift or 4 month pledge with the enclosed envelope.  For more information on the Care In Crisis campaign and to see the latest updates check out cnpeninsula.org/careincrisis.

His,
Ryan

P.S. You can help women facing a double crisis due to Covid-19.  Make a 4-month Care in Crisis pledge today so that Peninsula moms and babies can continue to get the essential care that they need.
The letter had some good parts, but the opening struck me as more depressing than compelling. My advice to Ryan: Eliminate the first half of the letter and start with the thank you. Care Net had just experienced its best year ever. This was a great opportunity to talk about the amazing impact his supporters had made. Such an opening would set the stage for introducing the campaign and inviting them to make an even bigger impact—right when it mattered most. 

Ryan took the advice to heart, revising to include some impact stats and a real-life example of how his organization had become even more vital to clients during the pandemic. I helped him organize everything into a clear message that flowed naturally from beginning to end. Below is the final draft that was mailed to supporters.

This letter became the most successful appeal Care Net had run to date, raising nearly $100,000. Ryan even received calls from other nonprofit directors saying it was the best letter they had seen. To compare, Care Net's next-most successful appeal had raised only $15,000.
Dear Care Net Family, 

Wow! What a crazy and challenging new chapter for all of us. COVID-19 has turned our world upside down. It’s easy to feel discouraged—but let’s stop and recognize the incredible things you accomplished in 2019. 

Your faithful giving to serve moms and save babies on the Peninsula made last year the most fruitful in our history. In the enclosed Impact Report, you’ll find a summary of the difference you made. Here are a few highlights: We served 580 local moms in 2019. They received 454 free pregnancy tests, 448 free ultrasounds, and thousands of diapers and clothes! More than 100 clients connected with a personal mentor from a local church. And you made all of that possible. THANK YOU! 

Now, we must adapt to a new chapter brought about by the coronavirus: Care in Crisis.

The women you serve through Care Net now face a crisis on top of a crisis. One client called us from the Planned Parenthood parking lot in tears. Because of the coronavirus lockdown, Planned Parenthood couldn’t see her for nearly a month. We met with her that same day (with all the proper precautions). “I feel totally overwhelmed,” she told us “I don’t see a future for me or this baby.” 

None of us knows the future, but her counselor shared what we do know: that God loves her, He loves her baby, and He is in control. She walked in that morning planning to have an abortion and walked out a believer in Jesus with plans to keep her baby

In this small way, God is using this crisis for His Glory. The number of vulnerable clients contacting us has DOUBLED since the pandemic began. We’re seeing a new mom come to Jesus every week. 

There’s another part to the Care in Crisis story. The impact of COVID-19 on the economy is unprecedented. Non-profits everywhere are bracing for a 40 percent decline in revenue. If that happens, we will have no choice but to make major cuts. This will have a devastating impact on the moms and babies we serve–right when they need us most. 

The good news is, we’ve worked hard to be a good steward of your resources. We have a rainy day fund. We’re also going line-by-line through our budget to find savings wherever we can. 

But to continue offering essential services—like options consulting, free ultrasounds, maternity clothes, and parenting classes—to local moms, we need those who are able to give to our Care in Crisis campaign. Starting today, we’re asking for a special 4-month pledge to give a gift of $25, $100, or $250 each month for 4 months. 

Your 4-month pledge will ensure that the fruit we’re seeing today can continue throughout the COVID-19 crisis and beyond. You can make that pledge, or a one-time gift, with the enclosed envelope. For more information on the Care in Crisis campaign, and to see the latest updates, check out cnpeninsula.org/careincrisis

Thank you again for making 2019 Care Net’s biggest, most amazing year on record. Your compassion is sure to help even more moms and babies in 2020. 

His, Ryan 

P.S. You can help women facing a double crisis due to COVID-19. Make a 4-month Care in Crisis pledge today so that Peninsula moms and babies can continue to get the essential care they need. Thank you for your support.
Care in Crisis Appeal
Published:

Care in Crisis Appeal

Published: