7 Tips for Writing Fundraising Copy

Every organization needs support from the community because with that support organizations can get on with fulfilling their mission. Receiving support from the community requires organizations to be accountable to those who support them.

One of the ways to remain accountable is through written communications; whether it’s a fundraising letter, thank you letter, newsletter, email, print media, or social media, written copy enables organizations to communicate en masse and keep their community updated.

Following are 7 tips to keep in mind when writing copy:

  • Do use short sentences with easy-to-understand words. Ask yourself, can your communication be read and understood by a busy person between meetings? If not, chances are they will not pick up your copy to read it a second time.
  • Do write as if you’re having a conversation with one person. If you’re writing fundraising copy for example, determine who your typical donor is. Is it a 55 year-old woman? Write your copy as if to her. Read your copy out loud; does it flow like a conversation?
  • Do say thank you right up front. You can never say Thank you too much. Let’s face it, your important work would be close to impossible without the support of your community! Don’t ask for more before you’ve said thank you!
  • Do Include a compelling story about how one of your clients has succeeded and link it back to the support of your reader. Don’t make it about you.
  • Do Provide a strong call to action and a convenient way for your reader to respond. This can be as simple as including a return envelope, an online link, and a phone number. Don’t dilute your message with multiple ways to contribute – this confuses the message and often results in no response at all.
  • Do invite your reader into a deeper relationship with your organization by offering a tour of your facility, or including your phone number so they can call you, or inviting your reader to share their ideas, etc. Don’t make your reader feel as though they aren’t in-the-know enough to make a valuable contribution to your organization.
  • Do say thank you again. Thank them for what they’ve done. Thank them for considering another way they can help. Thank them for their valuable feedback and ideas!

Relationships with people in an organization’s supporting community, although different from personal relationships, share similar requisites; such as open communication and honesty. What are some other similarities shared?

From the perspective of a community member, what are the things you would want to hear from the organization you support?

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