Reply Device Advice

Dear Kim,

We recently sent out our first newsletter and we want to back it up with an “ask” letter. I am trying to put together a donation card that people can fill out and return to us but I’m not quite sure what to put on it or what the layout should be. Any advice?
—Searching for the Magic Words

Dear Searching,

The donation card is also called the Reply Device, which gives a sense of what should be on it. In the letter you ask the reader to give you money, and you refer to the reader from time to time. For example, you might say, “We hope you had a chance to read our newsletter,” or “You may have noticed in the newsletter” or “We want to invite you to join us.” In the reply device, the reader replies to you. “Yes, I’ll help” or “Count me in” across the top. “Enclosed is my gift of…” followed by some specific choices and a box marked “other.” Put in some lines for the name and address, and put in your address at the bottom. Make sure the card fits in a reply envelope. Take a look at the direct mail appeals you receive for more ideas.
—Kim