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6 Best Practices for Successful Fundraising Appeal Letters

1. Pass the “You” Test

Engaging a reader is as simple as addressing them using the word “you” in every paragraph of your appeal. Using the second person catches your reader’s attention and makes your letter feel personal. It also conveys a feeling of power and responsibility on the part of your reader, which helps prompt them to action.


2. Tell the Story of Your Organization

Give your reader a reason to donate. What about your organization can catch every single reader’s attention? Appeal to their emotions – the way to a donor’s pocketbook is through their heart.


3. Write for Easy Reading

While your readers may be well-educated and more than capable of reading dense and difficult material, your fundraising appeal letters should always be quick and easy to read. Write at around a 5th-grade level. When in doubt, calculate your score via the Flesch reading ease test and aim for around 50. The sooner your reader is finished reading your appeal and the more easily they understand it, the more likely they are to stay interested.


4. Repeat, Repeat, Repeat

The best way to make your writing more comprehensive is to repeat your message. A reader should be able to easily define the values your organization stands for, what you’re trying to accomplish, how they can help and what specifically their donations can do for both you and them by the time they’re finished reading your appeal.


5. Answer “What’s in it for me?”

People are rarely completely altruistic in their motives. At the very least, philanthropy makes donors feel good about their actions. Always make sure your appeal letters answer the all-important question that your readers will already be asking themselves: what’s in it for me? Whether it’s getting their name on the honor roll or an invitation to an event, advertising some form of reward for your donors serves as great motivation for engagement.


6. Finish with a Call to Action

By the end of your fundraising appeal letter, you’ve addressed your reader directly and told them the story of your organization. You’ve repeated what’s in it for them and created some feeling of responsibility for what happens next. Now, push that responsibility until it becomes action. Describe exactly what your readers should do and why they should do it right now.


What are you waiting for?

If you’re concerned that writing the perfect fundraising appeal may still elude you, enlist the help of an expert. Affinity Connection specializes in writing engaging content that will prompt your readers to immediate action.

For a limited time, take advantage of a free appeal letter review, for a valuable learning experience. One of our fundraising specialists will thoroughly review your appeal efforts and walk you through ways to enhance and improve your copy for maximum giving results.