Engage Conference Spotlight: The Watergate Guide to Straight Talk
On April 10, FundRaising Success is hosting its second annual Engage Conference. Engage is the only case-study-focused fundraising conference focusing on the keys to success from organizations that have successfully made the leap from just-getting-by nonprofits to powerhouse organizations. Leading up to Engage, we will be highlighting content from the participating organizations and speakers that we've published over the years.
In order for any fundraiser's words to resonate with donors and compel them to take action, those words must feel genuine — which is to say they must feel and sound like the type of passionate speak people use when they converse with one another.
In March 2008, Willis Turner, senior copywriter at Huntsinger & Jeffer, shared "The Watergate Guide to Straight Talk," in which he wrote: "The Watergate Transcripts became a template for the kind of 'real' writing I wanted to do.
"Today, writing the way people speak is a pretty well established principle in direct marketing. All the gurus recommend it. Everybody understands that it works.
"So how come you end up seeing so little of it in actual direct-mail letters?
"Despite the common knowledge that direct mail is a conversation, it seems like way too many actual appeals sound like a lawyer writing to a banker."
It's a great reminder to make sure your donor communications are genuine.
Turner will lead the "Creative, Effective Fundraising Copy" roundtables at the second annual Engage Conference.