copywriting

Published on November 2, 2016 by

Fundraisers: data does not tell its own story to senior managers

Fundraisers: data does not tell its own story to senior managers

So many interesting things in this for fundraisers...

Against line-chart liberalism

How often do we draw conflicting conclusions from donor data? Also, how often do we try to rely on data and facts (the head) rather than narratives and emotions (the heart and gut) to motivate donors to take action?

As Jason says in the article I linked to above, "assuming that data can tell its own story ignores something fundamental that we know about how communications between humans works. People aren’t motivated by facts; they are motivated by narratives, by stories."

Senior managers often hate the ...

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Published on July 18, 2016 by

Stupid fundraising copy changes that will cost you donations

Stupid fundraising copy changes that will cost you donations

I can’t tell you the number of times a new client feels uncomfortable with (or hates) my copy for a fundraising appeal… which then goes on to raise more money than they ever have before. ...

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Published on April 13, 2016 by

When NOT to copy the competition

When NOT to copy the competition

Last week, I got an email from a client sending me a direct mail sample from another charity. She suggested we do something similar. I opened up the sample… and did a facepalm. It was not the most terrible piece of fundraising communications I’ve ever seen… but it broke all the rules of effective direct response. And not in a good way. The problem is the client thought it was good simply because their much bigger competitor did it. ...

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Published on March 16, 2016 by

June’s Jargon Watch

June’s Jargon Watch

As a copywriter, I hate jargon!

Yet jargon crops up in fundraising appeals, direct mail, donor newsletters, websites… and just about anything else written for donors!

So I’ve decided to start a regular spot on my blog called June’s Jargon Watch. The aim will be to highlight these atrocities of the English language. And also suggest how they could be rewritten so the donor – and the average person – can actually understand them. ...

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Published on February 23, 2016 by

How your simplest offer pulls record donations

How your simplest offer pulls record donations

 

If your appeal results aren’t so hot, one of the first things to look at is your offer.

Charity J, one of my clients, had the best Christmas appeal for over 5 years – up on the previous year by 25%.

And I put it down to one thing (and the client agrees).

A simple offer.

What was most surprising about it was that I didn’t have to suggest it. I didn’t have to get the fundraising staff to wrangle with programs and field staff over whether the offer was “representative” of their work.

And what was this offer?

...

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Published on February 20, 2014 by

Get those gifts with this top 7 list of wallet-opening emotions

Each fundraising appeal is different. But I find the following seven emotions excellent for motivating donors through direct mail. That’s both for soliciting gifts or nurturing donors so they will give again in future.

One thing to keep in mind is donors are not always consciously aware of their emotions. Particularly with emotions like number 5, you need to be subtle about how you evoke these feelings in your copy.

Anyway, here goes…

1. Outraged. This is straightforward. Get your donor angry over injustice and they will give. Whether it’s cruelty to animals or human trafficking, outrage is a fundraiser’s ...

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Published on February 5, 2014 by

The No. 1 blunder when using emotion in fundraising

Most fundraisers  understand that using emotions in copy is a good thing.

But with this knowledge comes poor attempts to integrate emotion into fundraising appeals. I could give you a list of mistakes charities make when trying to use emotion.

But most of them stem from one single issue. It's this...

Trying to evoke emotions you want the donor to have... rather than tapping into emotions the donor already has.

Often a charity will talk about how they want the reader to feel after reading an appeal. But that’s backwards.

Because you may end up trying to change how a ...

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