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5 Things All Successful Fundraising Materials Have in Common

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Make your fundraising materials more successful. (Photo: Oksana Kuzmina)

Successful fundraisers get people to care about a topic and compel them to act.

Persuading these folks to volunteer their time, donate their money, or invest is a challenging task. But with the right approach, you can definitely do just that.

One of the best ways to write an effective fundraising appeal is to emulate what has worked for others in the past. So here are some of the key commonalities among successful fundraising materials.

1. They Have a Good Reason

It can be uncomfortable asking people for money. But if you have a good reason, such as a noble cause or an exciting new startup that’s growing, then it becomes much easier to ask for funds.

However, even if you have a great reason to ask for money, it probably won’t sound right if you don’t articulate it well—so spend time making sure you have a good reason, as well as the way you’ll present that reason to others.

Don’t Miss: 5 Writing Tips for Successful Fundraising

2. They Appeal to Readers’ Emotions and Logic

In most cases, people want to give money to feel like they’re making a difference, but they also want to feel that they’ve made a wise decision.

If you focus only on their emotions, it might leave them wondering if a donation or investment is a sound decision. Or worse, they’ll fear that they’re being manipulated.

And if you focus solely on the logic, it’ll probably come across as cold and robotic.

That’s why it’s important to appeal to people’s emotions and logic. This style leads readers to see that you’re enthusiastic and passionate about the topic, as well as the solid reasoning behind your ideas—which all leads to fundraising materials that are naturally persuasive.

3. They’re Direct

Successful fundraising letters and other materials talk directly to the reader.

Don’t be afraid to use you and other personal pronouns in the writing. For most fundraising materials, you should be using a conversational style that talks directly to readers. This will help you better connect with them. If you’re too formal, it probably won’t resonate in an emotional way with people.

Another element of being direct is to make sure readers know what you want from them. Don’t make them guess what you’re hoping they’ll do next.

  • Do you want them to come to an event to learn more about the cause?
  • Or are you hoping they’ll make a donation today?

Either way, let them know directly.

Image of a quote that says, "Successful fundraising materials use a conversational style that talks directly to the reader."

4. They’re Long When They Need to Be

Some writers make the mistake of thinking that fundraising materials must be short, which isn’t true. Make these materials as long as they need to be in order to make your case and get results.

That doesn’t mean you should let the writing drag on just for the sake of doing so. What it does mean is that you shouldn’t limit yourself just because you assume nobody would read a fundraising appeal that’s longer than a single page, or two pages, or whatever.

In general, people will read something if it’s interesting to them. So if you’re talking about a cause that your readers care about, they’ll give you their attention.

5. They Understand the Reader

Last, but certainly not least, successful fundraisers understand their readers.

They’ve done the research—they know who they are, what they care about, and what motivates them.

Without this information, you’re only making it harder on yourself to connect with donors and make your case in a way that’s compelling to them.

Raising money can be challenging, but with these tips you’ll be well on your way to having fundraising success. At Super Copy Editors, we’ve worked with many organizations to proofread their fundraising letters, brochures, and more.

Contact us today for a free quote.

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Dave Baker

View posts by Dave Baker
Hi, I’m Dave Baker, founder and copy chief of Super Copy Editors. I have more than 25 years of professional proofreading and copy editing experience, including work for The Nation magazine, The New York Times, and The Times-Picayune of New Orleans, where I shared two staff Pulitzer Prizes. At Super Copy Editors, we’re passionate about helping agencies, marketing teams, and education companies refine and polish their text to give them confidence and ensure success. Learn more here.

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