- Create an emotional opening paragraph, sentence, or even just one word. If the reader can visualize themselves in the story, you have done a great job.
- Stories with an unsolved ending pull at the heartstrings and create the sense of need and urgency we as fundraisers want to have in an appeal letter.
- Donors give with their hearts, so we must write with ours. Statistics don't pull at heartstrings, so keep them out. Emotional triggers, not rational ones, drive charitable giving.
- Ask often throughout the letter (minimum of 3 times), and at least once on the front page. It must be very obvious to the donor why you are writing them.
- Use photos in appeal letters sparingly. A photo sends a message very quickly and can override all the words on your communication if the appropriate photo is not used. If using a photo, the photo should be neutral to sad, not happy.
- Include a P.S. message. People seldom read the entire letter, but most will read the entire P.S. message. This makes it a prime location to summarize the purpose of the letter (ask for support!) and to create urgency.
- The only goal of a donor renewal communication should be to raise funds. Your entire communication should be about the need for support. This means no added language about events, or reporting on successes.
- Multiple messages within one mailing confuses the reader and they take no action (that means they don’t send donations!!)
Donor Renewal Copywriting Tips
Not finding what you're looking for? Contact Us Directly