4 tips for writing excellent fundraising copy

Fundraising is a fun, yet strategic game that nonprofits have to learn to play well. It is said that people donate to other people, and the copy used on website, print and promotional collateral can make or break a relationship with a potential giver. Working with or hiring a professional writer to manage the copywriting can be a big help when it comes to year-round message crafting. There is always a need for promotional, creative, grant proposal and other types of writing at a nonprofit. But the most important is copy that engages potential donors and encourages them to become a member of the nonprofit's community.

Feel free to take creative liberty with the fundraising message, but know that there are a few rules to keep in mind for excellent copy. Here are four great reminders:

1. Avoid nonprofit jargon
A specialized word or pretentious terminology without explanation are not optimal for writing fundraising messages. Not only are these words confusing and not necessary, they let the reader tune out and create a barrier. If people don't know what they are reading about, they are not able to internalize it and connect with it on an emotional level.

2. Don't be repetitive
Repetition on a creative level can bring potential donors to learn more and engage them in the cause, but if the copy is poorly written with the same descriptive words and phrases, people will again be turned off. Invest in a copywriter to make the website, print collateral and other literature interesting and engaging.

3. Show the bigger picture
While it is important to show how the nonprofit is making a difference on a small level, it is imperative to make the larger message clear. The Nonprofit Hub pointed out that too many organizations stray away from the overall emotional pull and instead spend too much time focusing on otherwise small and insignificant details.

4. Speak to the donor
Try to focus more on the reader and making the donor the hero of the story as opposed to detailing the organization's work too closely. The Nonprofit Hub stated that using "you" instead of "we" has much more impact on potential givers and can elicit more action from them. Keep them excited about how they can make a difference and give them the opportunities to donate when they feel ready to make the leap.

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