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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: Katherine DiGiulio (self-nomination)

Tell us about the fundraiser and/or organization you are nominating: Congregation of Notre Dame

The Congregation of Notre Dame is a women’s religious community founded in what is now Canada in 1658. Its foundress, St. Marguerite Bourgeoys, wanted the women of her new order to be active and working among those who needed their help, not cloistered in a convent. Such independent action by women was new in the church; but despite resistance by church officials, the sisters were allowed to live a relatively uncloistered life. They established schools for the new settlers as well as for native peoples. In the 1860s the CNDs arrived in the United States. The Sisters continue to educate and serve the poor in Connecticut, Virginia, North Carolina, New York, Illinois, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island.

Tell us about the piece you are nominating:

The piece is a Spring Appeal direct mail solicitation letter. We also sent it via email in an end-of-fiscal year email blast.

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The letter more than tripled the amount raised by previous spring appeal letters. My staff and I focused on one story only about just one of the amazing Sisters in this order. We made the tone more conversational and inclusive of the donor. We used readability scores to make sure that the letter was easy to read. We made a direct ask for specific dollar amounts. We researched direct mail appeal examples found on the Tom Ahern and Showcase of Fundraising & Innovation websites. In short, we did our research to determine best practices. We incorporated these in our letter and voila! we achieved results! Not to mention that the letter was far more fun to write than more formal, stilted appeals I have written in the past.

Why do you think they are deserving of a Bloomie?

Last year’s Spring Appeal brought in $8,519.32 (we are a small organization); this year the Spring Appeal raised $25,550.00. We also obtained 30 new donors through one of our constituents notifying the alumnae of a Catholic high school where Sr. Beth once worked!

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.