Published on October 23, 2013 by

How to write for donor retention (Part 2)

Remember, building strong relationships with the donor is a two-way street. They give to you but you also need to give to them.

So here’s my second “donor gift” aimed at giving something meaningful to your donors through your copy. It’s actually a two-in-one, a double feel-good whammy for your donor.

Give the donor a heart-warming moment in their day


Give the donor the chance to be a hero

I’m constantly astonished at the speed with which stories spread on social media. Even untrue stories and hoaxes.

You’ve probably seen those tearjerker stories where a hard luck case makes good. That’s usually with the help of a hero like a teacher, mentor or an everyday person who did something kind.

Such stories go viral because they give people a warm, fuzzy feeling in the middle of their day. They inspire people. They make people cry.

And that’s why you tell stories to your donors. You tell them stories that will make them cry. Then you show them how they can be a hero in a story that will make others cry.

Do this:

“You can help a stroke sufferer just like Phil to walk and talk again.”

“Will you light up the face of a young child who has only known poverty and neglect?”

Not this:

“We desperately need funds to help thousands of men recovering from the debilitating effects of stroke.”

“Our organisation has been helping children for over 100 years with community development programs in Third World countries.”

Have a look at a couple of your previous appeal letters. Do you give your donors stories from the heart that will move them emotionally? Or are they all about how amazing your charity is?

Then when you ask for funds, do you give the donor the chance to be the hero? (Jeff Brooks at Future Fundraising Now also talks about this here and here.) Or is it all about helping you to achieve your goals?

See How to write for donor retention (Part 1)

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