5 ways to write better fundraising

Here are some great tips from the commercial sales world: Copywriting: 5 proven discoveries that strengthen copy. I think you’ll find these helpful in fundraising:


  1. You have only seven seconds to arrest the attention of your prospect. If your point counts on someone putting one and one together — you’ve already lost them.
  2. Never present the solution before building the problem. You’ve seen those direct mail envelopes that say something like, You can help these hurting children now! That’s ineffective. It’s failing to make the case that specific children are hurting in a specific way that the donor can stop.
  3. Clarity trumps persuasion. Tall to the reader about the things that matter to her. Don’t make brilliant points about your cause.
  4. Be ruthlessly unsentimental with your copy. If you’ve written something that makes you feel like a hotshot writer — you probably need to cut that.
  5. Asks must align with expectations. Know where your audience stands with you. Ask the right amount and for the right level of commitment.

Check out the post for testing that shows these principles in action.


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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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