The most important paragraph in your fundraising appeal

Yesterday, I showed you a great post from Clairification: Top 10 Fundraising Appeal Writing Tips. In the midst of that post, almost as an aside, was this challenge: Always, always, always include a P.S.; it’s copywriting malpractice not to do so.

It’s malpractice all right. And it’s very common. You might think there’s no need for a P.S. If you think of something you should have said, you’ll put it in your next draft, not tacked on in a P.S. Right?

Wrong.

Eye-tracking studies show that a large percentage of letter readers read the P.S. first.

And a good chunk of those read nothing else!

Leaving off a P.S. is the equivalent of sending a couple of sheets of blank paper. No message received!

And, under the assumption that it will be the only passage many donors read, you should include the call to action. Including, possibly:

  • The urgency/deadline.
  • A reminder of what’s at stake.
  • Specific instruction about giving.

It’s a good practice to write the P.S. first. If you have it polished and clear, you are in a great position for writing the rest of the letter!


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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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