After the Acquisition
Take-away tip: Show donors a little love! If you keep the strategy, at least rename the form. Try, “You’ll also have a chance to make any changes to your address at that time, so you won’t miss your first issue of our newsletter, for an up-to-the-minute look at how hard your gift is working.”
Tip No. 5: Write like you talk
It’s a copywriting rule that’s old as dirt. Unless your audience prefers an extremely formal style of writing, there’s nothing wrong with sprinkling a contraction or two in your letters to keep them from getting that stiff-as-a-starched-shirt sound.
And one more. Remove stilted language that doesn’t show the passion you have for your mission. Here’s an example from a member brochure:
“As an AnyName Charity member, you may take advantage of many opportunities for adventure and rewarding involvement.”
Why say, “You may take advantage of …” when you can say, “Be sure and take advantage of …” instead?
Or go one step further. Pluck a few fine phrases from the back flap of the brochure, and adapt:
“Preserve archaeological sites. Build trails. Paddle, pedal and trek. Get involved. As an AnyName Charity member, adventure and achievement await you.”
It’s not perfect, but you get the picture. More action. Less formal.
Bottom line? You work hard to acquire donors. And it costs plenty of money to do so. Now make sure every one of your follow-up communications work just as hard as that first appeal to nurture each new relationship and keep your donors committed for the long haul.
Lisa Sargent is a fundraising copywriter who runs Sargent Communications. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 860.851.9755.