How to write boring fundraising copy

Sadly, it’s true: One of the most common reasons fundraising copy fails is that it’s boring. Readers can’t fight their way through the dull thickets of words. Here’s a post from Copyblogger with 11 Ways to Bore the Boots Off Your Readers (along with my interpretations for fundraising):


  1. You’re breaking the rule of one (you talk about too many thing).
  2. You use full stops sparingly (sentences are too long).
  3. You’re too big for your boots (people aren’t as impressed with you as you are).
  4. You stick to high school rules (you sound falsely formal and awkward, the way your teachers told you to write).
  5. You sound cold-hearted (facts and stats are neither interesting nor persuasive).
  6. You are too ploddingly predictable (see the previous two points).
  7. You are long-winded (long messages work better than short one, but not if they seem long).
  8. You sound like a despicable salesman (just talk to donors).
  9. You don’t study copywriting techniques (copywriting has a lot of techniques that your commonsense is unlikely to uncover).
  10. You commit crimes against readability (long paragraphs, bad fonts, stupid colors).
  11. You don’t self-edit to boost charisma (main hint: the best way to be interesting is to be about your reader).


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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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About the blogger

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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