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Sunday, April 30, 2017

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See, boss, this stuff works
Tom Ahern

February, 2015

Suzie E. was kind enough to write. Maybe you've shared her initial frustration ... and her bird-loving triumph!


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Dear Tom,

Thank you so much for your books, your website, your newsletters, your webinars.

I've been a fan for years ... but nobody would listen to me at the international research organization I worked at: I forgot to get a Ph.D., and you, you are tainted with ... public relations! OMG, not that.


"Ironic" is inadequate to describe a research org. ignoring research. (Did someone mention Demented Overlords?)
 
So I was very happy to have a small end-of-year appeal at the place where I've been I volunteering for three years, where I could really apply your principles and where everyone was so busy they didn't have time to interfere. 

The organization is NYC's only wildlife rehabilitation center.

 

  

 

There is no full-time staff person, and the founder/director has never been paid.

 

We only got a space three years ago, and the number of animals treated in a year is already up to 3,200 this year.

 

We were the last major US city to get a rehab center, because NYC ain't cheap. So we really need the bucks.

At the beginning, I was just hoping not to lose money. The whole mailing was only going to cost around $1550, but it could still lose money! 

I read How to Write Fundraising Materials...twice. The second time I took notes. I attended one free live webinar of yours and reviewed your others online.

 

One day I sat for about 7 hours straight in my big easy chair and went through every appeals critique on your website, making changes to my text and gleefully adding whatever I could adapt/steal.

I made it kinda homemade looking. Like the photo captions on the front page are upper- and lowercase but on the back page are all caps.

 

 

 

The text on the outer envelope is kinda hokey, and I chose a bird with great big "baby" eyes. (We are using the leftover envelopes for thank-you notes by crossing out the "need you" and writing in "thank you.") 

 

 

 

The photos are all to the left, of course, and I made it so people who only read the captions would get the story.

I told the hawk story because one good story is better than stats or multiple stories, right?

Ooh, and those opening, brain-grabbing facts? I derived them from info I found online. I am really proud of them.

ANYway, results: about $16,000!

 

I stopped counting last weekend.

 

  

 

That was from 101 replies to a mailing of about 1500 after bad-address returns, which is a good result, yes?

 

[Tom here: YES!] 

 

The largest number of responders chose $100 -- 33 people. Four sent a thousand!

And it's all attributable to your incredible generosity is sharing information we could not have afforded to buy.

 

I know I've presumed on your time here, but I so want you to get how grateful I am, for the animals first and then for me, who got to win a round!

With very best wishes,

Suzie 



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