The fundraising appeal letter is a difficult one to pen. At its foundation, you’re asking people to part with their hard-earned money, so you’re going to need to present them with a solid case that they’ll understand and connect with.
Of course, there are a lot of charities and organizations writing fundraising appeal letters, but many of them fall into a trap. From large businesses to the smallest and most local nonprofit organizations, all of them make mistakes, even when it comes to fundraising letters.
Let’s explore the most common mistakes you could make when writing your fundraising appeal letter, so you can avoid them at all costs.
1. Not including details of your cause
When you’re writing your letter, it’s easy to assume that the people reading it already know what your cause is. At the end of the day, your cause is just one of many things on your reader’s plate. Give them more details than you think they need, just to be safe.
2. Treating every letter the same
You never know who is actually going to read your letter after you’ve sent it, whether they’ve been following your organization for years or they’ve never heard of you. This means you’ll need to include all the information you can in order to draw in those all-important donations.
“However, you don’t want to overwhelm your readers with information. When writing your letter, stick to one point or program that you’re trying to convey and then provide all the details the reader needs to know on that subject matter,” explains Bernice Backer, a Public Relations Manager at Resumention and Huffington Post contributor.
3. Leaving out donation achievements
One of the most important aspects that you need to include in your fundraising appeal letter is explaining to the reader how their donations can help your cause. This is something that’s essential in your letter.
Showing how the donation money is spent and what good things you can achieve with that money, is vital to the success of your letter and getting people to donate.
4. Using long-form content unnecessarily
People hate it when you beat around the bush. If you’re passionate about something and you want someone else to feel your passion, there’s no point in slowly moving into your subject matter.
Go straight to the point with what you’re writing, and readers will really appreciate it.
5. Not inspiring people
When you’re writing your letter, it’s easy to make the mistake of try to scare your readers into donating with imagery or grave language. However, it’s much more effective to be inspirational and uplifting in your letters. Those feelings are what drive donations.
Of course, you’re going to want to include facts and figures that prove your cause has legitimacy. However, it’s equally important to include information on the progress your organization has made.
Writing a fundraising appeal letter requires balance and content that makes an impact on your readers. Finding this balance may take a little practice, but once you’re there, the return on investment will be unparalleled.
By following these tips, you can greatly improve the impact that your fundraising letter has with your readers, helping you boost the overall success of your campaign.
Gloria Kopp is a guest contributor for Nonprofit Hub. She is the communications manager at Essayroo, writes a Studyemic blog for students and educators and is a regular contributor at Microsoft and UKWritings columns.