Successful Fundraising Letters Revisited

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A few days ago we helped a Better Fundraising For All friend improve her fall appeal letter.  Here is a summary of what we shared with her after reviewing the rough draft.

The best appeal letters present a compelling problem and ask the donor to solve it.  And that’s it.  When there are too many other messages in the letter competing for attention you will achieve lower response rates and lower average gift.  Successful appeal letters do only one thing and they ask for only one thing – a financial gift to help solve a problem.

In our response to this particular letter we also suggested using a larger font (don’t use small or script fonts), leverage the PS by restating the financial appeal, and using a pictures that shows the problem, not the solution.

What can we all learn from this review? Keep your letters simple and remember the purpose of the letter – to ask your donors to solve a problem by sending you a gift today!

Jim Shapiro
Jim Shapiro

Jim Shapiro is the fundraising coach you always wanted, the proven Sherpa who can help you get to the top of the mountain. He has 20 years experience raising money, including serving as the VP of Development for a $300m nonprofit. He then co-founded The Better Fundraising Co. to help small-to-medium nonprofits raise more money. Jim is married, serves his community by coaching high school football, and has three children.

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