The Most Important Information in Appeals and Newsletters

The Most Important Information in Appeals and Newsletters

Information hierarchy.

In a nutshell, some information is more important than others. And you want to communicate the most important information first.

When you create fundraising plans, you need to know what’s more important.

Then you need to make sure your fundraising clearly communicates the most important ideas first.

What’s most important depends on what you’re creating.

When You Are Asking

This happens in appeal letters, e-appeals, at events, and in 1-to-1 asks with major donors.

The most important pieces of information are:

  • There’s a problem right now
  • The donor can solve the problem!
  • The solution to the problem, and its cost
  • The need to respond now

Almost everything else is secondary. Absolutely, you can include other things – but the four things above are the most important elements when Asking your donors for support.

When You Are Reporting

This happens in donor newsletters, e-newsletters, and 1-to-1 reports to major donors.

The most important pieces of information to communicate are:

  • There was a problem
  • The donor solved it!

I know that seems overly simplistic. But it’s true. If your newsletter communicates those two items, your donor will know two powerful things: their gift was needed, and their gift made a difference!

When your donors know those two things, they are far more likely to give to your organization again – because they trust you.

Make It First, Make It Last

As you work on your next piece of donor communications, know what’s most important.

Then make damn sure the most important messages are the first and last messages your donor sees. Those are the portions of your fundraising that a donor is most likely to remember – they are the most important positions, so put your most important messages there.

It takes discipline. And it will feel weird at first. But it works like crazy!