Keep donors paying attention by raising raising questions, not spouting answers

Ads written by journalists are why most people hate advertising.

They’re also why so many ads are ineffective and a waste of money.

This is what we learn from The Monday Morning Memo at That Hovering Question Mark

It applies equally to fundraising.

Ads written by journalists are those that begin by revealing everything that is to come. Like, “Guidomeyer’s Furniture is having a sale!”

That’s what you get when you follow the 5 Ws of journalism: Who, What, When, Where, and Why.

Fundraising written to those rules lead like this: “You can feed hungry children with your year-end donation today!”

It’s a fact. Not a story.

To make it a story that the donor will be interested in paying attention to and possibly become part of by giving, open with a statement that triggers more questions than it answers.

This applies to email subject lines, outer envelope teasers, beginnings of letters … wherever you’re hoping to get the attention of would-be donors.

Pull people into the world of the problem you want them to help solve.

Don’t whack them over the head with your pre-programmed solution to a problem they may not understand or know about.


Comments

2 responses to “Keep donors paying attention by raising raising questions, not spouting answers”

  1. Victoria Aronoff Avatar
    Victoria Aronoff

    Hi. Can you give an example of this? Thank you!

  2. Victoria Aronoff Avatar
    Victoria Aronoff

    Hi. Can you give an example of this? Thank you!

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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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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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