Fool-proof outline for a successful fundraising appeal

There are a zillion ways to write a fundraising appeal, but here’s an outline, in the form of the word APPEALS that can get you there quick, from John Haydon’s blog: How to Write a Winning Fundraising Appeal.

Note that this outline suggests that you ask 5 times. That’s right. Repetition improves results!

  • Attention. This is the hardest part. Find a way to break through the mountain of commercial clutter that surround your donor. Say (or show) something amazing. Most likely, something about the donor! First ask.
  • Problem. Show your donor a solvable problem and make it clear that her donation is the solution.
  • Possible. Show them the better world that will be when she gives.
  • Elevate. Make it clear how important this is: How much difference she’ll make, what’s at stake if she doesn’t give, what the donation says about her. Second ask.
  • Anecdote. Tell a story that shows the problem and its solution in action. Third ask.
  • Level Up. “Sweeten the deal.” Make sure the donor knows she’s needed and that her gift matters. Fourth ask.
  • Summarize. Repeat the high points. Typicaly in the P.S. of your message. Fifth ask.


Comments

2 responses to “Fool-proof outline for a successful fundraising appeal”

  1. Thank you for posting this, Jeff!

  2. Thank you for posting this, Jeff!

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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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