Aiming at Different Targets


Every piece of fundraising has a purpose. Think of it as a target the organization is trying to hit.

For instance, one organization aims their appeals at “convincing donors that the organization really knows what it’s doing.”

Another organization aims their appeals at “inspiring donors.”

While another aims at “sharing what’s happening and what the donor’s gift will do about it.”

Each target results in a completely different letter.

Has your organization chosen which target your appeals shoot at, or was your target inherited or assumed? Oftentimes organizations have a target – or “internal rules” around what their appeals will and won’t talk about – without ever having realized it.

If your organization is aware that there are other targets, have you tried any of them?

Sometimes the most impressive increases in fundraising come from simply switching which target you’re aiming for.


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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