13 tips for writing stronger fundraising

You’d like your fundraising to work really well.

That starts with writing it really well.

Here are some great tips on fundraising writing from Pamela Grow’s blog, at No one sets out to write crap. A short lesson in nonprofit copywriting.

  1. Know your audience
. They aren’t you. Write for them. This is one of the most difficult tasks in fundraising.
  2. Find your best story.
  3. Get to the heart of it. Giving is an act of the heart. If you want people to give, embrace emotion.
  4. Write music. When your writing sounds good, it’s more readable and more persuasive. Read it aloud and revise it until it sounds good.
  5. Infuse your letter with gratitude.
  6. Put your donor in the picture. Tell her what she can do. Not what you’ve already done.
  7. Ask. You really have to come right out and clearly ask them to donate!
  8. How long should my letter be? Answer: Longer.
  9. One writer. There is no group or committee in the known world that can write with clarity and passion.
  10. Outline it. Know where you’re going before you start writing.
  11. Swipe. Get ideas and inspiration from others. (But don’t plagiarize!)
  12. KISS. Keep It Simple, Stupid!
  13. Write drunk. Edit sober. Well, probably not actually drunk. Maybe tipsy. It’s okay if your first draft is a little sloppy — as long as you edit it.


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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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