Easier Said Than Done: 25 Tips for Better Fundraising Copy
8. Flunk your English teachers. They meant well and taught you many useful things, but not everything they taught was useful. Paragraphs don't have to start with topic sentences. Passive voice is not all that bad. Neither are sentence fragments.
9. Repeat yourself. Whatever it is that you want people to do, tell them that thing again and again and again. Repeat yourself because you don't know if they ?understood or even noticed it the first and second ?times. Repeat yourself because hardly anyone ?starts at the beginning and reads straight through to the end.
10. Annoy yourself. You are not your donor. That's one of the most important truths you can know, and it has a dramatic side effect: Messages that motivate donors very often will turn you off. Learn to make your own distaste a good barometer for effective fundraising.
11. Use a cliché or two. There's a reason clichés catch on. They express things that people often want to express — in short (and sweet) ways that are easy (as pie) to remember. Fundraising isn't creative-writing class; you aren't going to lose points for lack of ?originality. However, you will get extra credit for motivating more people to give.
12. Use fewer adjectives and adverbs. If your nouns and verbs aren't doing the job, adjectives and adverbs are not going to pick up the slack. Well-placed ?modifiers can add zing. But most of the time, they just make the copy harder to read — and make you sound like a huckster.
13. Omit huge numbers. Donors don't want to solve a problem because it's big. They want to solve it because it's solvable. Yes, 24,000 children die from hunger-?related causes every day. That's a mind-boggling fact. The fact that it's mind-boggling is exactly why it's a poor fundraising platform. Give donors the opportunity to save one life, and then another and another.