Thursday, 3 May 2012

10 commandments for effective fundraising writing

Here are the ten commandments for effective fundraising writing inspired by Tom Ahern’s teaching on donor communications:

  1. Thou shalt not write theological or socio-economical essays but warm and personal letters.
  1. Thou shalt not use a boring formal style but a friendly, easy to follow conversational style. 
  1. Thou shalt not forget to ask for a specific amount, for a clearly definied purpose, given in a specific way by a certain date.
  1. Thou shalt not send out ‘Dear Friends’ letters but aim to include a personalised salutation and a date in the letters.
  1. Thou shalt not write short letters with long sentences but ensure that sentences are short, paragraphs are short and the language is plain English.
  1. Thou shalt not let the overzealous graphic designer spoil the readibility of the fundraising appeal by using the wrong fonts or reverse copy.
  1. Thou shalt not be ungrateful but at all times remember that every donor is an extraordinary person who wants to make the world a better place.  
  1. Thou shalt not take the credit for all the great things that the donor’s gifts have made possible.  
  1. Thou shalt fight the affliction of the ‘curse of knowledge’ and work hard to inspire and motivate donors to support the charity.
  1. Thou shalt stay visionary, focused and simple – using fewer words and better pictures. 
Please feel free to add any others commandments you are applying to your charity's communications. 

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