How not to kill fundraising copy

I think every experienced fundraiser knows that the approval process is where good fundraising copy goes to die.

Very few of those approvers are killing it on purpose. But it keeps happening.

If you’re a reviewer and you don’t want to be a copy killer, here’s help from Willis Turner writing in FundRaising Success: How to Read a Direct-Mail Fundraising Letter.

Here are some things to keep in mind as you read:


  • Read fast.
  • Don’t trust your feelings.
  • Read out loud.
  • Make sure the letter says just one thing.
  • Recognize that all that repetition is a good thing.
  • Read gullibly. (If you read with a cynic’s eye, you’ll push the copy into an over-explaining, polemical stance. That’s bad fundraising.)
  • Make sure the letter doesn’t try too hard. (This would be copy that comes to you already polemical.)


Comments

2 responses to “How not to kill fundraising copy”

  1. I think reviewers forget to read from the perspective of the prospect. This tends to happen with general commercial copy too.

  2. I think reviewers forget to read from the perspective of the prospect. This tends to happen with general commercial copy too.

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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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