5 things to get rid of that will improve your fundraising copy

Everyone tells you things you can do to improve your fundraising copy. Here are some things to get rid of that can make an even bigger difference for you:

  1. Get rid of the teaser. More often than not, an envelope with no teaser out-performs one with a teaser.
  2. Get rid of the brochure. Removing a brochure from a direct mail package almost always improves results.
  3. Get rid of your first paragraph. You’d be amazed how often your first paragraph is a weak warm-up and your real lead is your second or third paragraph. Give it a try.
  4. Get rid of your worst donors. Okay, that’s not a very nice way of putting it, but there’s a good chance you’re losing money on donors who haven’t given in a long time and/or only give very small amounts. Talk to them less. In some cases, stop talking to them.
  5. Get rid of excess reviewers. Committees are the curse of fundraising, systematically draining life and power from anything they touch. Work without committees, and you’ll see meaningful improvements.

(This post was first published on July 7, 2010)


Comments

2 responses to “5 things to get rid of that will improve your fundraising copy”

  1. Hi! Bit curious about your first point: get rid of the teaser on the envelope. Do you mean we should send appeals in white envelops with our logotype only? Some organizations (and actually some countries) use very commercial envelops (pictures, gimmicks, etc) while we, in the Nordic countries, use more sober material (only a text with a call to action). I have tested different approaches but never went for the whole “naked” style…

  2. Hi! Bit curious about your first point: get rid of the teaser on the envelope. Do you mean we should send appeals in white envelops with our logotype only? Some organizations (and actually some countries) use very commercial envelops (pictures, gimmicks, etc) while we, in the Nordic countries, use more sober material (only a text with a call to action). I have tested different approaches but never went for the whole “naked” style…

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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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