The most important thing to remember is, write for THEM, the potential donor, not you.
Remember: What goes in determines what comes out. Do your research. Read a LOT. Read everything. Listen to talk radio. Watch the news. Know what you’re talking about.
The more you know, the easier it will be to both write and speak on the subject.
Remember where your money comes from: Your donors. Focus on them. Write for them. Take care of them. Understand them. Pay very close attention to them in every way.
And write in the same language they speak. I don’t mean you have to learn a foreign language. I mean talk and write in a conversational tone. You’re not writing a term paper. You’re trying to compel action. Use emotion as well as persuasion.
Five ways to be less effective at fundraising
- Your call to action is weak
- You are not asking enough times in the letter
- Your type font is too small
- The word “you” is not showing up enough
- You are not mailing often enough to your donors
SOURCE: Future Fundraising Now
Better Fundraising for All explains how a poorly performing direct mail appeal was revised into a winner. Here are the changes that made the difference:
- A story of need was added. (It had been a description of the wonderfully effective program.)
- The story was about one person. (It had been about all the people.)
- There was an Ask in the first few paragraphs. (The ask wasn’t until late in the original letter.)
- Design was used to help the donor know the most important parts of the letter. (Underlines, boldface type, and other forms of emphasis were added.)
That’s a recipe for success…especially the part about telling a story. Don’t recite philosophical talking points. Tell a story that illustrates the point you want to make. Start with the “moral of the story is…” and then build a story about the lesson.
For example, let’s say the point you want to make is: “The government ought not do for the people what the people can and should do for themselves.”
Now find a story in your experience that drives that point home. Like repaying your student loans. Tell that story. Then close with: “The moral of the story is…”
Antifa is an often-violent left-wing activist group. So you’d think that if you go to www.antifa.com you’d learn more about Antifa, right? Wrong. Click on the link.
Ditto www.biden.com. You’d expect it to take you to a website championing President Joe Biden, right? Wrong. Click on the link.
This is the danger of not securing your domain name before your opponents. Don’t let this happen to you.
FAMOUS LAST WORDS
“The donor is smarter than you; they have the money and you don’t.” – Richard Viguerie