The Fundraising Mad Lib, Part I

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:

1. [Noun]

2.  [number]

3. [plural noun]

4. [adjective]

5. [adverb]

6. [number]

7.  [verb]

8.  [adjective]

9. [plural noun]

10. [noun]

11. [plural noun]

12.  [adjective]

13. [plural noun]

14. [noun]

15. [noun]

16.  [verb]

17. [adjective]

18.  [noun]

19. [number]

20.  [place]

21. [verb]

22. [adverb]

23. [adverb]

24. [noun]

25. [noun]

Have your list? Ok! Head on to The Fundraising Mad Lib, Part II to read your appeal letter!

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