7 surprising writing tricks that will help you raise more money

Good fundraising writing does a hundred Small Things right.

Here are some of the Big Things:


  • Have a compelling and specific call to action.
  • Show how it matters with a heart-touching story.
  • Make it clear that the donor is the actor, the hero, in the situation at hand.

Make sure you have those. But you’ll do even better with a lot of the Small Things added. Here are some, from the Kissmetrics blog, at 7 Copywriting Hacks Based in Psychology:


  1. Illusory Truth. Repetition makes what you say seem more true to readers. Since you’re telling truths, give them the best chance of being perceived as true — repeated everything that’s important as often as possible.
  2. Rhyming. Rhyme makes your copy more memorable. Seek rhyming words when you write.
  3. Serial Positioning. The most important places in any block of text are the beginning and the end. (The middle is a wasteland by comparison.) Put important stuff at the beginning and end.
  4. Justification. The word “because.” Because it’s powerful.
  5. But You Are Free. Reminding donors that they are free to say no often helps them say yes!
  6. Leverage your P.S. Line. The most-read part of any letter. Make sure it says the most important thing.
  7. Textural Adjectives. Texture words activate the brain’s sensory areas. That helps your message feel more real and immediate. Look for descriptions that literally call up textures. “It was a rough time,” rather than “It was a difficult time.”

Adding a couple of these things to your message isn’t going to make a loser into a winner. But using Small Things like this all over the place will improve your results.


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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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