The 3 Most Boring Words in Fundraising Appeals
Could your fundraising appeals be boring? I certainly hope not!
But I bet some of your wording could use a freshening up!
Today I'm sharing with you the three most overused, most boring and least useful words ever to be used in fundraising appeals.
There's too much tired, old schlock out there that we have been using and reusing — and it all needs to go. I call it "nonprofit pablum" because the words have no seasoning, no punch.
Nonprofit writing doesn't have to be so boring.
Please, please ditch the "lofty" tone and treat your donors like your best friends. You don't have to talk down to your donors. And you don't have to treat them with kid gloves.
Remember that you're not writing a formal letter to someone you don't know. You're writing to a friend. To a true believer in your cause.
Just use plain talk. Please.
Now ... drumroll, please:
The award for the most boring word ever to be used in fundraising goes to: "Underserved."
Goodness. Do tell me where the emotion is in this word. Tell me what it really refers to. Does it have any impact at all?
Many humanitarian and social service agencies use "underserved" as part of their daily nonprofit vocabulary. It's a noble effort to add dignity to the people they serve, and that's fine.
But it's also "social service-speak." It's such a normal part of conversation in agencies that it invariably creeps in to their marketing and fundraising materials.
And staff members thinks it's perfectly appropriate to talk to outsiders in these terms because it's what they say every day.
But to those of us outside your agency, it means almost nothing.
Instead of "underserved," how about giving me a real word like "desperate," "destitute" or "needy" — hungry, lonely, scared, worried, anxious, frightened, starving.