The Bloomies are our award for outstanding donor communications in the nonprofit sector. Each week, we’ll feature a newsletter, email, direct mail piece, acknowledgement, solicitation or social media post that caught our eye.

Nominated by: Rob Wagner (self-nomination)

Tell us about the fundraiser and/or organization you are nominating: Bethany Home

Bethany Home is a provider of senior housing and health care located in Ripon, California in the heart of the Central Valley. Bethany Home is a multi-level, single site provider. Nearly 400 residents live at Bethany Home. 250 employees are committed to providing positive outcomes for residents, no matter what service they need.

Tell us about the piece you are nominating:

This year-end letter was the first I’d done for Bethany Home after joining their leadership team. It was dramatically different from anything they’d sent prior. I used tips from Jeff Brooks’ ‘The Fundraiser’s Guide to Irresistible Communications’ and Tom Ahern’s ‘Making Money with Donor Newsletters.” I underlined, bolded, PS’d and merged the donor information onto the response card. I also included the amount and date of their last gift.


Why do you think they are deserving of a Bloomie?

Response to this appeal was phenomenal. It was mailed to 2,700 donors in our data base and 3,000 prospects I profiled from our top 250 donors. The appeal brought in $90,000 dollars, $40,000 more than any other appeal they had sent. The average donation was $552 dollars, up from $398 the previous year. Dozens of donors upgraded their last gift, most doubling it.

The letter grabbed the reader from the first line, “Imagine a small travel trailer, its silver metal reflecting the heat of a warm Central Valley day.”


This appeal shows that an appeal letter, done right, can reignite a donor base.

Know someone deserving of a Bloomie? You can nominate someone here >>

Kristen Salmon

Kristen Salmon

Product Manager at Bloomerang
Kristen Salmon is a Product Manager at Bloomerang. Kristen holds a Master of Public Affairs degree with concentrations in Nonprofit Management and Policy Analysis from Indiana University Bloomington and a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Oklahoma State University. She also worked for two years as a Research Assistant in grad school on the multi-year Indiana Nonprofits: Scope and Community Dimensions project.