I received a copy of the following letter today:
Thank you for your time in reviewing this letter. The intent of this communication is to determine if your foundation goal and the special project goals of the ____ (organization) are complimentary.
The letter goes on to list ten funding opportunities. I felt a bit like a trout sitting on the bottom of a stream watching a fly with the price tag still attached floating on the surface. If you cannot customize the presentation in any meaningful way then the most likely catches will be the uninitiated or unmotivated. Direct mail in the social sector is shown to get 2-3% return rate. Since this letter was addressed to “Foundation Administrator” I project that very few individuals will feel a personal connection.
How could this invitation be improved? Would a personal salutation help? Had the letter noted previous grants made by the foundation that aligned with this organization’s funding opportunities would it resonate more? Would a follow-up call to expand on the communication be compelling? What would attract your interest?