Romance your donors with feminine copy

Maybe you’d noticed men and women are a little different from each other. Keeping that difference in mind can make you a better fundraiser, because the universe of donors skews decidedly female.


Copyblogger looks at that difference at Romance 101: How to Use Feminine Words That Sell. Short version: Men tend to be motivated to fight, win, conquer — be heroic. Women tend to be motivated connect, relate, repair — romance.


So often, male writers frame a charitable cause as a battle; sounds compelling to them, but it’s just a bit out of tune to their female donor audiences.


Here, according to Copyblogger, are some “romantic” words that can help copy reach women:



  1. Love
  2. Heart
  3. Secret
  4. King, Queen, Princess, Prince (or some other honorable title)
  5. Temptation, Forbidden
  6. Cloud, Moon, Stars (and other celestial bodies)
  7. Heaven, Paradise
  8. Kiss
  9. Virgin
  10. Magic, Enchanted, Bewitched (and other references to the supernatural)

And here’s the cool part. Some examples from the commercial world:



Plain: “Solve Email Problems”

Heroic: “Battle Your Email Overload”

Romantic: “Love Your Email Inbox Again”


Plain: “Stop Procrastinating”

Heroic: “Defeat Procrastination”

Romantic: “Kiss Procrastination Goodbye”


Plain: “Ditch Your Bad Habits”

Heroic: “Conquer Your Bad Habits”

Romantic: “Make Your Bad Habits Disappear Like Magic”

Try this exercise for your cause.


Comments

10 responses to “Romance your donors with feminine copy”

  1. I’d love to see the fund appeal using the word Princess.

  2. I’d love to see the fund appeal using the word Princess.

  3. Jeff, are you SERIOUS?
    As a Gender Studies major and fundraiser AND as a woman I find this post offensive.
    There are many different types of donors, and they all give for different reasons. Don’t assume that women want to hear words about emotions, and don’t assume men want to hear words about heroics.
    Talk about donors like they’re people, not cardboard cutouts.
    What really motivates ME to donate is if I know the nonprofit is well-run, is solid financially, and has a scalable solution to programs that work.

  4. Jeff, are you SERIOUS?
    As a Gender Studies major and fundraiser AND as a woman I find this post offensive.
    There are many different types of donors, and they all give for different reasons. Don’t assume that women want to hear words about emotions, and don’t assume men want to hear words about heroics.
    Talk about donors like they’re people, not cardboard cutouts.
    What really motivates ME to donate is if I know the nonprofit is well-run, is solid financially, and has a scalable solution to programs that work.

  5. Thattomahern Avatar
    Thattomahern

    Jeff….
    As a writer slash feminist hired to raise money from generous strangers, I can honestly say that I put your latest post to work about 20 minutes after it arrived.
    It was a great new way of looking at things for a community foundation for whom I’m writing billboards. I will die a devout pragmatist: if it works, it works.
    Don’t take the criticism to heart. Political correctness is that yapping dog next door no one but the owner likes.
    Your imagination-unchallenged readers might think of the two categories as NOT masculine/feminine, but rather two other adjectives: warrior and lover, maybe; or rock and fern. More texture than character profile, in other words.
    Gender, i.e., not required. Just a different point of view.

  6. Thattomahern Avatar
    Thattomahern

    Jeff….
    As a writer slash feminist hired to raise money from generous strangers, I can honestly say that I put your latest post to work about 20 minutes after it arrived.
    It was a great new way of looking at things for a community foundation for whom I’m writing billboards. I will die a devout pragmatist: if it works, it works.
    Don’t take the criticism to heart. Political correctness is that yapping dog next door no one but the owner likes.
    Your imagination-unchallenged readers might think of the two categories as NOT masculine/feminine, but rather two other adjectives: warrior and lover, maybe; or rock and fern. More texture than character profile, in other words.
    Gender, i.e., not required. Just a different point of view.

  7. Katie Graf Avatar

    My first reaction was to be kind of insulted by this generalization and the words on the “feminine” list, but your examples made me think harder. Very interesting and something I will have to test out. Thanks –

  8. Katie Graf Avatar

    My first reaction was to be kind of insulted by this generalization and the words on the “feminine” list, but your examples made me think harder. Very interesting and something I will have to test out. Thanks –

  9. As a fundraiser I found this post very useful, and I have it open as I’m drafting my next appeal copy. As a woman I don’t find it at all offensive – I’m interested in what works. I try to remove “how would I respond to this” from the equation because I am not my donors.

  10. As a fundraiser I found this post very useful, and I have it open as I’m drafting my next appeal copy. As a woman I don’t find it at all offensive – I’m interested in what works. I try to remove “how would I respond to this” from the equation because I am not my donors.

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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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Jeff BrooksJeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 35 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com. More.


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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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Jeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 30 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com.

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