One of these outlines raises funds. The other one doesn’t.

Here’s something really worth knowing, from the Better Fundraising Blog, at The Simple Outline for Appeals That Raise Money:

A (very common) appeal outline that never works:

  • Thank you for helping in the past
  • Let me tell you a story about someone we already helped
  • Please help us continue this good work

I see appeals that follow an outline like this all the time. You’d think it was proven, guaranteed, bullet-proof, and known to work.

It doesn’t.

Instead, try …

The appeal outline that almost always works:

  • There’s a problem right now
  • You are needed to solve it
  • Here’s how your gift will solve it

You still have to do a bunch of other things right, but this is the outline that works. Follow this (or some version of it). Abandon that other one!


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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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