General Copywriting Tips for All Types of Communications

  • Write as though you are having a conversation, keeping it friendly and using words like you and your.
  • Traditional writing rules don't apply to fundraising communications.
  • When writing your communication, make it easy to read using a 6-8th grade reading level.  Your readers are smart, but very busy!
  • Make communications "skimmable" - use short sentences and short paragraphs.
  • Use dark font colors (black is best!) and 13 pt or larger font size.
  • We understand that it’s nice to incorporate branding colors, but be careful when doing so to ensure readers do not have to strain to read your message.
  • Serif fonts, like Times New Roman, are the easiest to read on printed materials. 
  • Do not use jargon. Eliminate organization, program, and fund names as much as possible. 
  • Think about what the donor cares about - the difference they're making! They don't really care about the staff or the building at your organization. Don’t push your agenda.
  • If you are reviewing your communication and thinking “I wouldn’t respond to this” - congratulations! You are far too close to the organization to reflect donor's thoughts and actions - response rates will determine what works and what does not.

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