5 things not to do to improve your fundraising copy

Everyone tells you things you can do to improve your fundraising copy. Here are some things to get rid of that can make an even bigger difference for you:


  1. Get rid of the teaser. More often than not, an envelope with no teaser out-performs one with a teaser.
  2. Get rid of the brochure. Removing a brochure from a direct mail package almost always improves results.
  3. Get rid of your first paragraph. You’d be amazed how often your first paragraph is a weak warm-up and your real lead is your second or third paragraph. Give it a try.
  4. Get rid of your worst donors. Okay, that’s not a very nice way of putting it, but there’s a good chance you’re losing money on donors who haven’t given in a long time and/or only give very small amounts. Talk to them less. In some cases, stop talking to them.
  5. Get rid of excess reviewers. Committees are the curse of fundraising, systematically draining life and power from anything they touch. Work without committees, and you’ll see meaningful improvements.


Comments

4 responses to “5 things not to do to improve your fundraising copy”

  1. WI Fundraiser Avatar
    WI Fundraiser

    The headline and the copy of this piece don’t jive. You say not to do these things, but if you read carefully, you’re saying definitely do these things. Very confusing. By the way, Tom Ahern says teasers on the envelope draw better. Who are we supposed to beleive with so many “experts” providing advice?

  2. WI Fundraiser Avatar
    WI Fundraiser

    The headline and the copy of this piece don’t jive. You say not to do these things, but if you read carefully, you’re saying definitely do these things. Very confusing. By the way, Tom Ahern says teasers on the envelope draw better. Who are we supposed to beleive with so many “experts” providing advice?

  3. I love these ideas! Thanks for sharing these great tips that make us think twice about common practices in nonprofit fundraising offices!

  4. I love these ideas! Thanks for sharing these great tips that make us think twice about common practices in nonprofit fundraising offices!

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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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