Geared Up for Growth
1. Were we honest? I mean, really, the truth is bad enough. There’s never a reason to have to embellish a story or dramatize a story. The truth is dramatic. Animals need rescue. Kids are going hungry. Diseases need to be cured, or someone’s rights are being infringed upon. Policies need to be changed. Museums need to be funded. The list just goes on. And we don’t need to add a lot of superlatives to make our missions sound compelling. The story does it for us.
2. Were we direct? Did we beat around the bush, or did we plainly state what we needed and why? If you need more money and you want someone to move up to your midlevel program, don’t spend a lot of time telling them how great they are. They already know that. Tell them very specifically and very directly why you need the money. Will their bigger gift help launch a new program, or if combined with that of a hundred other people, will it help more people, places or things?
3. Were we genuine? Did the person who signed our letter sound sincere? And when you go back and read those letters, did you feel a connection? Do you think that your donors did?
4. Did we make it easy? Is it easy to understand why we need help? Is it easy to understand how the donor can make a difference? Break it down for each level. If you want someone to give $50, tell them what that would do. If you want someone to give $2,000, give them a reason for why that $2,000 is important and explain why they should do it. See if it’s easy to grasp what you want the reader to do. If you want someone to give, ask them and ask them more than once.