If you are anything like most ministries and non-profits, you don't particularly enjoy writing your donor letters, and we totally get it! We know that it's not so much that you don't like communicating with your supporters, it's more about the weight of communicating effectively, while still keeping things short and sweet! The struggle is real, and we are hoping to take some of the mystery out of effective communication!
~ This is the second installment of a series called Creating Great Donor Letters ~
Before we move forward with this letter I wanted to take a minute to let you know that we think you're doing a great job! We mean it. You and your organization is what we are all about. We want to be partnering with ministries, organizations, and individuals who are committed to their cause. You are the perfect example of this! Great work!
Your donor letters are one of the most valuable tools in your fundraising tool belt. In the first installment of this series we addressed how important it is to choose the type of letter you write. We discussed Informational Letters versus Direct Asks. This is the most important part of this series, so if you haven't already read that, read it here now! Today we will be addressing the importance of addressing your readers soon and often in your letters. The most powerful word in any donor letter is "You."
When you write your donor letter, it might be helpful to think of it as a virtual coffee date with your donor. Get the face of one of your closest supporters in your mind, and write like you're talking to them. What would you do if you were inviting this friend over for coffee to your actual house? Well, first, you would address them directly with an invite. Think of using the word "you" in your first sentence (or even better - the title!) as the invitation to your reader to come on in, get comfy, and catch up with you.
When you write as though you are talking about the donor, and not about yourself, it helps them feel involved from the get go. When the reader is welcomed in to your letter, they are more likely to read the entirety of your message.
Use Positive Reinforcement
Back to the coffee analogy, after your buddy sits down with you in your favorite place in the house, you might begin telling them about what's new. Well, your letter isn't any different! What we mean by positive enforcement is that you ought to highlight the inspiring, uplifting, and successful areas of your ministry. You can share a story about a family on whose life your organization has had a great impact, or maybe you can discuss the blooming friendships in your ministry's small groups. Shining a positive light on your organization will encourage your donors to give, AND feel good about it!
In closing, I want to encourage you to spend a few minutes praying about your next donor letter. Ask God to give you some inspiration for drawing your readers in, and praise Him for the ability to be doing your job. Nonprofit, ministry and others-centered work is not easy work, but it is holy and inspired. He is with you, and for you. Blessings, friends!
Do you have questions about an informational letter or direct ask? Do you need help proofreading and editing your letter? We are here to help you in ALL of your fundraising needs. Shilo, our Communication Coordinator, is available to assist you with any letter writing needs. Fill out the form below if you would like her assistance, and she will contact you soon!
We've created Launch Pad to help you put a fundraising plan in place, to help you stay organized, and to help hold you accountable.