When you get better at something, there’s that bittersweet moment where you’re thinking two things almost simultaneously:
- Oh man, I’ve been doing it wrong all along… and
- Hey, I know how to do that better now!
In those moments, it’s as if you see the world a little more clearly than you did before. You understand how things work a little better than you did a moment before.
I had one of those “moments of clarity” recently, thanks to the impressive and irrepressible Jen Love.
We were on a panel at the Storytelling conference talking about direct response fundraising. I shared one of my writing tools: starting the first draft of every appeal and e-appeal with the sentence, “I’m writing to you today because….”
Jen then said something like, “Yeah, I love that. I’ve taken it a little further and what I use is, ‘You’re hearing from me today because…’.”
Cue my moment of increased clarity.
Her version is better than mine! It starts with the magical word, “you.” It places the donor in a more active role with more control. It leads to more writing about the donor and what they care about, and less about the organization.
I share this with you today because… You’re reading this today because you know that the more moments of clarity you can have, the more effective a fundraiser you’ll be.
But there are Fundraisers and organizations who don’t really want those moments of clarity. They like their way of doing things. Or they can’t believe that your moment of clarity could apply to them, their communications, or their donors. For those organizations, getting better at fundraising is a challenge.
But if you seek out those moments – if you’re eager to find out that what you’ve been doing is a little wrong, and that there’s a better way to do it – getting better at fundraising and raising more money is delightful.
In my experience, the most effective fundraisers are having “moments of clarity” all the time. Because of those moments, they see the world a little more clearly. And they create fundraising that’s more effective.