11 amazing fundraising truths discovered by new writers

Fundraising is Beautiful Podcast

We asked two new fundraising (and very successful) writers who have been doing some very great work what they know about fundraising that’s making them succeed.

Here’s what they told us:

  1. Write as one person connecting with one person.
  2. Avoid the word “we” — unless it very clearly means you the reader and I the writer.
  3. Start your first draft with this phrase: I’m writing to you today because…
  4. Use the word you a lot.
  5. Articulate the fundraising offer early and often.
  6. Tell a story of need, not success.
  7. Ask clearly for money. (Don’t hint around!)
  8. Write at a 6th grade reading level.
  9. Include a P.S. and restate whatever is the most important thing in your message.
  10. Have a deadline, and mention it often.
  11. Keep the organization out of the way — make it about what the donor can do.

If you’re new to the work, or feel intimidated by it, this list can push you way up your learning curve, and fast!


Steven Screen is Co-Founder of The Better Fundraising Company and lead author of its blog. With over 25 years' fundraising experience, he gets energized by helping organizations understand how they can raise more money. He’s a second-generation fundraiser, a past winner of the Direct Mail Package of the Year, and data-driven.

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