Fundraising is not about “us” — it’s about “you”

Writing fundraising copy poorly is pretty easy. Writing it well is hard. Getting it from bad to good is devilishly difficult.

But here’s one way, from Karen Zapp, to make not-so-good copy into pretty decent copy. And it’s easy: What SINGLE change can improve any fundraising appeal?

Here’s Karen’s one change: Change the word “we” to “you.” And here’s how it plays out:

We sent 220 volunteers to Joplin to help them rebuild. Ten families are now living in their homes again. This is just one example of what Acme Charity has done in this past year.

Yawn. But change we to you, and you get:

You helped send 220 volunteers to Joplin. Ten homes were rebuilt and families are living in their homes again. This is just one example of what Acme Charity has done in this past year.

There’s still a lot more that could make that paragraph stronger — but that simple change transformed it from organizational navel-gazing into genuine donor-connecting fundraising.


Comments

4 responses to “Fundraising is not about “us” — it’s about “you””

  1. Jeff — You are 100% correct…maybe 110% correct. Thanks for continuing to speak the truth.
    st

  2. Jeff — You are 100% correct…maybe 110% correct. Thanks for continuing to speak the truth.
    st

  3. I’d change that final line to:
    This is just one example of what you have achieved through your support of Acme Charity this past year.
    That’s 2 more “you” references.

  4. I’d change that final line to:
    This is just one example of what you have achieved through your support of Acme Charity this past year.
    That’s 2 more “you” references.

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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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