What it takes to write good fundraising

What does it take to write good fundraising?

It takes pretty much the same things as any other kind of writing, plus a working knowledge of fundraising and donors.

That’s why I like this “writing manifesto” from Articulate Marketing: How we work: our writing manifesto. It’s not about fundraising, but it can help anyone be a better writer:

  • You have no right to your readers’ time. When you know this — and believe it — you are on the path to writing greatness. It’s the amateurs who think people are sitting around waiting for their amazing words. Nobody is waiting for what you have to say, especially your fundraising messages. You have to earn their attention and time by being relevant.
  • Readability is vital. Most writing that gets ignored gets the cold shoulder because it’s hard to read. Whether that’s because the design makes it difficult (small fonts, reverse type, puzzle-laden layouts, etc.) or the grade level is high, these barriers to readability really work to keep readers from reading.
  • Be a reporter. Find out useful and interesting things to tell your donors. That’s your job!
  • See the world from your readers’ perspective. Make it about the donor, not about your or your organization. And remember, they don’t know the same things you know. It’s your job to get onto their territory, not to insist they join yours.
  • Writing happens. Make writing a priority. Whether you’re doing it yourself or paying someone else, focus on it. Because when it doesn’t connect with donors, it doesn’t raise money!

Have a question about your fundraising writing project? Let’s talk! It’s easy: Click here to schedule a free 25 minute session with me. Bring your fundraising challenge or question and let’s see if I can help.


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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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