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The appeal of Labor Day

LaborA large percentage of the work I do is for the nonprofit sector—healthcare, religion, poverty relief, literacy, and others. So I’ve written hundreds of fundraising appeals.

It is common for nonprofit organizations to schedule their appeals around holidays. Christmas is the most popular (and the most effective), but I’ve also written fundraising letters that are themed to coincide with New Year’s Day, Easter, Mothers Day, Independence Day, Election Day, Thanksgiving, and other recognized seasons.

Labor Day appealBut I’ve written only one Labor Day appeal. And since I know that creative fundraising success is top-of-mind for you in the days leading up to a holiday weekend, I’m here to share it with you. See if it moves you to give:

Dear Friend and Partner,

I love Labor Day — and not just because it’s a holiday!

I love what Labor Day stands for. It’s a whole day dedicated to the achievements of working Americans. It’s a national tribute to ordinary people who have made daily contributions to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our nation.

Now, it may seem ironic on Labor Day to be writing about people whose labors, for the most part, are over. Most of the residents in [our senior living] communities are no longer part of the active workforce.

But they were. And for that, you and I are in their debt.

Think about it: Our retirement centers today are filled with former teachers, missionaries, nurses, homemakers, pressmen, cab drivers, factory workers, and farmers. Our retirement centers are filled with yesterday’s workforce—both paid and volunteer! These people have built a nation. They’ve built a community. They’ve built me and helped make me what I am today!

I don’t ever want to forget that.

The people in today’s nursing homes spent their lives laboring for me and the blessings I enjoy today. I feel obligated to give something back.

How about you?

Will you recognize what yesterday’s workers have done to make America great, and to make your community great? Will you labor a little for them after all they’ve done for you?

Give a little from the fruits of your labors this year. Not only will you be saying thank-you to some forgotten heroes, you’ll also be setting an example for the next generation who will someday need to say thank-you to us.

Happy Labor Day,

The fruits of my labors

Now, to be honest, I don’t know if this appeal letter did its job—the client did not relay any results to me (though they did return for help with several other appeal letters).

Still, I thought it was a creative approach to an unusual holiday request.

If you need creative thinking that is not too far out of the box, consider asking LifeLines to work on your next fundraising campaign.

In the meantime, Happy Labor Day!


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