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Fundraising tips, case studies, and product updates.

What inspires people to donate their hard-earned money to a stranger’s cause? And how do these people choose which of the thousands of noble causes to donate their limited resources to?

It all starts with your fundraising appeal – it is your first and most important chance to connect with a potential donor.

You have to accomplish a lot in your appeal: explain your cause, demonstrate why it’s important, and prove to your readers that their money will be best spent with you.

Persuasive writing convinces people to make donations, plain and simple. If your
fundraising appeal doesn’t have a clear point of view, specific asks, and good
storytelling, you are not going to convince people to donate.

Writing good copy is hard. Here are ten quick tips for getting started:

1. Be direct
Don’t be afraid to use the “money” word if that is what you need. If you don’t ask clearly, you won’t receive. Be direct about what you need.

2. Conversational tone
Use “I,” “we,” and “you.” Make your writing personable and easy to read. Your donor should feel like you are on friendly terms.

3. Easy on the eyes
Leave lots of white space to make important things stand out. Bold key points. Use gorgeous photos. Don’t hit your readers with a wall of text.

4. Sense of urgency
Donors need to know why it is important for them to give now. Demonstrate the immediate needs a donation will address. Use time-sensitive incentives like having their gifts doubled within a certain time frame.

5. Use stories
Help your reader connect to your cause by telling the story of a real person that their donation will help. Stories draw people in and allow them to relate to the issue on a personal level.

6. Show impact
Always show how a donation will make a tangible difference. Offering giving suggestions that outline what a donation will “buy” is one way of doing this.

7. Offer space for feedback
People want to feel like they are a part of the conversation. Invite them to ask questions on your Facebook page or engage with you on Twitter.

8. Always educate
Every time you share your content is a chance to educate people about your cause, even if they are already familiar with your organization. Be clear and explain why and how you do what you do, and why it matters.

9. Address FAQs
Anticipate people’s questions and cover them before they are even asked. Eliminate reasons for people to doubt.

10. Call to action
Give specific asks to readers at the end of your appeal. Usually it’s money. Other times you may want them to sign up for email updates or volunteer with you. Offer clear instructions on how to do so. Make them feel involved.

Your turn. Are there any of these tips you’ve found useful? What would you add to the list?

Meredith Janke is a content writer and nonprofit specialist at CauseVox. She focuses on online fundraising, social media, and nonprofit marketing.

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