FORMAL: My appeal – join me in supporting Undriving

October 24, 2011 by  
Filed under Blogroll, Nicole Fallat

This image came up when I used Google to search “formal fundraising” images. I thought it was pretty funny. Maybe this is how one feels after a terrific successful fundraiser? Donate and help me find out!

I’m just about to send out my big donation request, and I am trying two different appeal letters. In direct marketing, this is called ‘testing’. Pretty fancy, eh? Makes you feel all special I bet, to know I’m using the same sneaky tricks on you as life insurance companies do to weasel little old ladies out of their dead husbands’s pensions, doesn’t it?


Can you tell I’m in a mood tonight?

Anyway, the last time I fundraised for anything, it was a major disaster, I stole the money, and I’ve felt guilty ever since…no, seriously….I was 12. It’s been TWENTY-THREE years since I have done any fundraising because of that incredibly traumatic experience I’m writing another post on that and will link to it from here once it’s up.

So, the GREAT news is there’s no way I can steal your money, and I wouldn’t anyway. I’ve already raised more than I did back then, and I have no incentive to steal this money, no anticipated public shame I’m running from, no embarrassing failure, no nuthin’….mostly.

But just to be safe…make sure you donate a LOT so that the amount is so large, I’ll have to shout from the hilltops what a terrific success I, me, am, at fundraising. Heh. Kidding again.

So, here is TEST A. This is a formal fundraising letter that I wrote, about which I feel very strongly, very passionately, but is still, nonetheless, formal and not full of a bunch of Nicole-isms. What it IS full of is direct honesty asking you to join me in supporting this amazing organization. It’s gives you facts on where your money will go, and what our organization does.

Test B will be the goofy Nicole one, which could be a total failure.

Leave me a note in the comments as to which donation appeal you think is more effective. Maybe it’s universal. Maybe it depends on the person.

But, as this blog doesn’t get a ton of outside traffic (I know, right?! Why not?!), most of you reading this are the same people to whom I am making a personal appeal, so the demographics are about the same. But I am just to terrified of being a failure, for a nonprofit that I believe in like no other, and that really can’t do anything more than the same-old same-old without a financial bump.

So please, please join me, if not financially, then by spreading the word with your friends, your blog, your local community, your church, etc. Or even just order yourself your own Undriver License. It’s $20. Would you pay $20 to have a week without road rage, paying for gas and parking, and traffic?

Here’s Test A:


Dear Friends,

For the entire month of October, I have joined nine other participants in the first-ever Undrive-a-thon™! This means that for the last 24 days, I’ve been walking, busing and carpooling way more than I ever have, all to raise money and awareness for the organization that inspired the idea: Undriving™.

I’d like to invite you to join me by donating to the Undrive-a-thon by the end of this month.


Undriving is a Seattle nonprofit that helps reduce car use by inspiring people to change their driving habits voluntarily – no guilt, no gimmicks. The organization does this by issuing Undriver Licenses™ to people of all ages who pledge to reduce their car use for one month.

And it works! Seventy-five percent of Undrivers have reported making lasting behavior change around driving, even after the first month. That is huge!

In four short years and with an efficient yet tiny budget, Undriving has gone from a lightbulb idea to licensing more than 8,000 Undrivers.

But we need your help to grow the program. Please join me in making a donation.


Your dollars will help us run more programs like this: earlier this year, we delivered the first-ever “Undriver License Toolkit” to a local public transit agency. They are using the toolkit to license Undrivers all over their county. It’s been so successful that, to quote the agency’s marketing director, “Undriving is becoming our public face.”

Now other organizations want to use our program, but we need your help getting to scale and spreading this successful program across the Northwest, and eventually, across the country.

In order to expand the program, please join me in helping grow Undriving’s budget with your donation today.

I have one week left to raise $5000 to help grow this pioneering organization. I’m inviting you to be part of the Undrive-a-thon because I know this is the type of organization you value.

Please forward this invitation to donate to your like-minded friends, spread the word to your community, and follow along online as we close out the month.

Thank you so much for being a part of this with me,


PS – need a suggestion for a donation amount? Here are three.

–  $13: I’ve bused 13 out of 16 work days this month – that’s a dollar for each day.

–  $65: Each day busing is $5 in bus fare roundtrip – 13×5 = $65.

–  $135: I have saved almost $200 in parking, gas and deferred car maintenance by busing, minus the $65 in bus fare.


Nicole Fallat

Board Treasurer and dedicated volunteer 206.390-2236

Twitter:  @Undriving


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