Tips For An Effective Fundraising Appeal

Kat Boogaard
Kat Boogaard

Fundraising Appeal

Arguably, your fundraising appeal is one of the most important parts of your nonprofit crowdfunding campaign. It’s the heart of your cause. The meat and potatoes of your mission. The crucial part where you tell supporters what your goal is and why they should care.

You know your crowdfunding campaign inside and out. But, you can’t fall into the trap of thinking that your audience knows everything about it too. An effective campaign summary is key for informing supporters, as well as leading them to feel connected to your cause.

Seem like an overwhelmingly daunting task? Have no fear. Crafting an impactful summary doesn’t need to be difficult. Check out these tips for putting together a summary of your campaign that’s inclusive, informative and inspiring!

Start With The Basics

In order for your supporters to feel motivated to donate, they need to comprehensively understand the nuts and bolts of your cause. They want to know the background information (i.e. why are you doing this?), as well as the desired outcome (i.e. where is their money going?).

Your fundraising appeal needs to thoroughly explain all of this information. In order to ensure you’re getting down to the nitty-gritty of your crowdfunding campaign, you might need to take a step back.

Remember when you would analyze stories in elementary school and you had to figure out the who, what, where, when, and why of a plot? Start an outline for your fundraising appeal the same way. Take a piece of paper and jot down the who, what, where, when, and why of your crowdfunding campaign. Breaking it into these smaller sections will ensure that you’re covering all of your bases and including all necessary information.

Connect With Supporters

There is an abundance of great crowdfunding campaigns out there. While it’s good news that there are tons of compassionate, socially conscious people in the world, it also means that your campaign is mixed in with a lot of competition.

So, how do you stand out from the crowd? You need to connect with your supporters on a human level so that they feel a sense of attachment to your campaign.

For example, if your crowdfunding campaign is raising money to feed shelter dogs, craft an emotional appeal around the topic of animal welfare. There are plenty of dog-lovers out there who will hear about shelter dogs, immediately picture their own beloved pet, and feel inclined to donate and help other animals that aren’t quite as fortunate.

Of course, it’s impossible to craft an appeal that resonates with everyone. But, do your best to find the root of your cause and use it to connect with supporters on a more personal level.

Need more tips for connecting with your audience? There’s some great information here.

Be Thorough, But Not Longwinded

Your fundraising appeal needs to be detailed and informative. But, you don’t want to end up with something as long as War and Peace.

Make sure that your summary is inclusive and descriptive, without being dry and longwinded. Starting with the who, what, where, when, and why the outline mentioned above will help you to narrow your focus and be more succinct.

When you’ve finished the initial draft of your summary, go back a few times and read it over again. Go through each paragraph with a fine-tooth comb and eliminate any sentences or words that are unnecessary or don’t add any value to your fundraising appeal. This practice will also keep your appeal concise and your wordiness in check.

End With A Call To Action

Obviously, your main goal is to collect donations from your supporters. But, an outstanding summary likely won’t do that by itself.

Conclude your fundraising appeal with an effective call to action to instill a sense of purpose, urgency, and connection in your supporters. A compelling call to action will make your audience feel like they can’t leave your page without supporting your cause, which puts you one step closer to your crowdfunding goal.

Looking for specific hints for crafting the perfect call to action? There are some great tips in this post!


Nothing will turn off supporters more than a fundraising appeal that’s riddled with typos, spelling errors, and grammatical mistakes. Careful and thorough proofreading is necessary for ensuring that your summary is ready to go.

Of course, you’ll want to proofread your summary a few times yourself. But, handing a draft of your summary off to a wordsmith friend of yours (especially one who knows very little about your cause!) is a great idea too. They’ll be able to catch any mistakes that your eye skipped over, as well as point out any areas that are difficult to understand or require additional clarification.

Tip: Reading your appeal aloud to yourself is a great way to make sure everything sounds great and flows the way you want it. You may feel a little crazy, but it’s a surefire trick for creating a well-written campaign summary.

An effective fundraising appeal is crucial for ensuring the success of your crowdfunding efforts. A quality appeal will inform and connect with your audience, while simultaneously inspiring them to donate to your mission. Keep these tips handy to craft an appeal that is thorough, personable, and able to spread the word about all of your great work.

Photography by Remco Wighman.

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