Your organization is doing important work–but nobody wants to hear a laundry list of your programs! Sharing too much about your organization can get in the way of writing effective fundraising appeals—and let’s face it, it can be pretty boring too.
Here are five ways to spice up your letters to inspire engagement and giving:
#5 – Show impact. Tell me what you did with my last contribution and how it made a difference. That can be the story of one child. Or a piece of legislation passed. Or any other example showing that your organization is making progress on the issue your donor cares about.
#4 – Tell me, why now? Your donors need to understand why it’s important for them to act now. So, connect your work to current events in the news, whenever possible. Explain why this is a unique moment for your organization. Paint a picture of the gains that can be made if you act boldly now. Spell out the consequences of delay.
#3 – Talk about me, engage me. Yes, I’m talking about that “donor-centric” buzzword everyone is using these days. Because it works! Don’t tell me how your organization is making a difference “with my help” – tell me what I AM ACCOMPLISHING. Ask my opinion in surveys. Remind me of the benefits and satisfaction I get from giving.
#2 – Be specific about why more funds are needed. For this one I’ll quote Jeff Brooks from his recent Future Fundraising Now blog . . . “Support our cause” isn’t fundraising. It’s wishful thinking. “Feed this hungry child” is fundraising.
And the #1 thing your fundraising letter (or email) MUST DO to avoid boring donors?
Talk to me like you would talk to a friend. Visualize a friend or relative and write to that one person. (I often use my 94-year-old grandmother). Be authentic and human. Tell me about the kids or a recent trip you took. Use simple descriptions of your programs and victories. And talk about why it all matters to me!
I hope these tips help get your next fundraising letter off to a great start!
- Posted by Kathy Swayze, CFRE @impactkathy