Writing copy for fundraising - it's not all about you!

Every experienced copywriter and direct and digital marketing professional is familiar with the concept of 'customer-centric' messaging. What many fundraisers are less familiar with, however, is how to apply customer-centricity when writing or reviewing appeal copy. As a result, you end up with fundraising letters that begin with: 'I am writing to you today to...'. But that's not the biggest mistake many copywriters make.

The most common, and most costly, mistake that I come across when reviewing delegate copy submissions during my Copywriting for Fundraising courses is adding the word 'us' into the 'ask' or 'outcome' sentence. Here are two examples:

"Will you help us give a homeless person a warm and safe place to sleep this Christmas by donating just £5 today?"

"Your gift will help us provide clean drinking water for thousands more children like Suki"

Now read those two sentences again, but this time don't say the word 'us'. See how much more powerful and compelling they become?

By removing the word 'us', you create a direct connection between the donor's actions and the outcome - and that results in a much more appealing and persuasive proposition.

Of course, there's nothing wrong with talking about your purpose, your work, your achievements and needs. But that doesn't mean the copy has to be all about you. Try to avoid letting your charity get between your donor and your beneficiary. When the donor gets the glory, you get the money.

To hear more from Paul about persuasive and productive copywriting for fundraising, check out his one-day Masterclass course 'Copywriting for Not-for-Profit' and learn how to make more people read, care and give.

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