The words you choose for your fundraising campaign can make all the difference. Find out how to craft effective fundraising copy with these simple tips:
Some words are like social media trends; they gather momentum because they perfectly capture an idea or moment in time. After a while they become a cliche and lose impact. For fundraisers, over used words can unclude: sustainable, disruptive, scalable, solutions, innovative, synergy and positive difference. These aren't necessarily must-avoid words but proceed with caution and use only when necessary and relevant.
Unless you're appealing to a specific industry, avoid terms that won't be understood outside a specific group of supporters.
Vague references to aid initiatives, education programs or support services don't give supporters enough knowledge about how their money will be spent. Give specific detail about the "why" not the "what", e.g. more of this: Educate a Ugandan child through direct sponsorship, less of this: Donate to our Uganda education program.
Do you know how to write for digital spaces? Copy written for mobile screens should abide by a specific set of guidelines, such as using the active voice and . utilising white space. Knowing what works in what medium will ensure your copy is effective.
Emotion compels supporters to help. Choose words that convey the importance of your cause. Talk about the reasons why your cause needs help. What are the consequences of the need not being met? What difference will support make? Help supporters understand how they have the ability to effect meaningful change.
Call-to-action words and phrases create a sense of urgency. "Act now!", "'Change a life today", "Donate here", are all examples of the way words can inspire supporters to take immediate action. Make sure people have an opportunity to connect with your cause and understand the need, otherwise the call-to-action may read like a demand.
Make your supporters feel part of a valued group or community. Referring to regular and loyal donors in special terms (e.g. The Legends) will ensure they feel their support is meaningful and important. Cheerleading regular supporters in your fundraising copy also gives an incentive to casual donors to join the gang!
Repeating the same message year-in-year out can reduce its impact. Think about the different ways you can communicate. Linking your communication to timely issues is a great way to keep focus on your cause. For example, if your organisation is dedicated to protecting the rainforest, make the connection to current concerns about palm oil production or the fate of orang-utans.
Everyone is time poor so make your message direct and to the point. This is particularly important when using digital communication channels. When reviewing your copy ask yourself, is it clear, concise and relevant.
There are words that work harder in your fundraising copy than others. Fundraisers' friends include:
You: it's inclusive and personal. It makes a supporter feel part of the team.
Because: there's an important reason why we need your help
Join: make supporters feel they are needed - not just their money
Immediately: helping to effect change quickly makes donors feel good about giving
?: questions encourage supporters to make positive choices. Will you help a child in need? Are you willing to help a homeless person get a hot meal? Will you decide to save an endangered animal?