Truth — fundraising is like sales. Except instead of having the merits of a product to hawk (this toothpaste is preferred by 9 out of 10 dentists!), we’re trying to sell social change, largely by making a donor have warm fuzzies about the work we do.
One of my college journalism profs said never to use the phrase “make a difference” in our news copy because it was trite and didn’t mean anything any more. I keep this lesson close at heart while writing fundraising copy too.
Some days, writing a one-page appeal letter is a heck of a lot harder than writing a whole chapter of a novel. In early drafts I write sentences like “Your gift will DO AWESOMESAUCE HEART ADVERB SALAD” because I haven’t yet found the emotional hook of a letter and know I need one.
But then, writing “ADVERB” like that made me think of Mad-Libs.
So, I present to you the Fundraising Mad-Lib: Get out a piece of paper and write down the following:
3. [plural noun]
9. [plural noun]
11. [plural noun]
13. [plural noun]
Have your list? Ok! Head on to The Fundraising Mad Lib, Part II to read your appeal letter!