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5 Mistakes to Avoid in Your Fundraising Appeal Letter

  • For organisations that rely heavily or entirely on fundraising, a fundraising appeal letter is crucial to your existence and success. If you miss the mark on getting your message through and connecting with supporters, you may miss the opportunity to reach your fundraising goals. Making an error in the way you present your organisation or your cause in your letter can be costly to your efforts.

    Here are some key mistakes you should avoid at all costs within your fundraising letters.

    Not getting right to the point

    If you're passionate about the issue you're working on, you'll likely want to talk about it forever. But, writing a long fundraising appeal letter filled with all sorts of information may backfire on you. Keep things within a given word limit using Easy Word Count. Some folks, as willing as they are to donate, aren't as interested in this cause as you may be. They want to know the basics, and will generally search for more information on their own if they are that interested. You can also provide references using Cite It In to compose properly structured citations. If you're pitching to a sophisticated investor you will have plenty of opportunities to go into greater detail once they express an interest. But, in your letter, aim to keep it short and to the point in order to keep their interest and get them to take action.

    Scaring them into contributing

    There are ways of going about asking for donations that are positive and uplifting, rather than negative and scary. You need to focus on the good your organisation is doing and the progress that is being made, rather that what still needs to be done. Yes, your donors will also want to know what work is left, but showing what's already been accomplished gives them a sense of hope and pride that their money is being put to good use.

    When you send your fundraising letters via email, Email Excellence has some free support that can help you improve the way your messages are sent and how you communicate with your potential contributors. 

    Failing to recognize the donor as the hero

    Your organisation may be the one coordinating help or other activities, but each and every donor has helped to actually make that happen. Because of this, they are the true heroes and should be recognised as such. Showing them that they have individually, and as a group, made a difference and positively impacted the lives of others makes them out to be the true heroes they are.While speaking positively about your donors, always ensure your writing is flawless – a spelling or grammar error amidst words of praise may demonstrate that you were rushed or careless when writing those words. 

    Leaving out the details

    There are some things that may seem like common knowledge to you, but that's because you're totally involved in the project on a daily basis. For contributors, this may be the first time they are encountering this, so they will need to first get an understanding and familiarity with your work and the project. Get your letter written quickly, without having it look like it was written quickly, by using ProWritingAid to edit as you work.

    In the same way that you should be keeping your fundraising appeal short and on message, you've got to briefly outline the details of the project in question. More in depth information can always be provided subsequently, but it's first important to get their attention and interest. You can also use your social media network to connect and easily contact contributors who are requesting more information. Buffer is a great tool for managing your social media accounts and keeping them all organised.

    Not following the basic structure of an effective letter

    In any well written fundraising appeal letter, four components should be included: One single message, facts to back up what you're saying, a sense of wanting to become involved and a call to action. Include all of these and you're on your way to putting together an effective letter. Online writing services like EssayRoo have professional writers who have plenty of experience in writing effective fundraising letters. 

    Keeping these common mistakes away from your fundraising letter will greatly impact the effectiveness of your letter, your willingness of donors to contribute and the overall success of your project.

    Gloria Kopp is a journalist and a content marketer at Big Assignments. She enjoy sharing her writing advice in her posts at HuffingtonPost and Best British Essays blog. Besides, Gloria is a paper reviewer at Oxessays where she contributes her reviews for students and educators.

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