Using similar principles of style, your fundraising letters can become more than words piled onto a page. Just like Hepburn and Grant, your letters can exude their own fashion sense.
Nothing beats black type on a white page in terms of legibility and simple elegance. From there you must make a couple of important decisions. For one, which of the more than 30,000 font families will you use? Thankfully, you can narrow it down to a handful of reliables, although some designers will say that a favorite like Times New Roman is overused. There are plenty of other nice readable fonts –Caslon, Century, Baskerville and Garamond to name a few. Make sure you choose a serif type–a type with little appendages. Study after study has show they are much easier to read than streamlined sans serif types.
The size of the type used in your fundraising letters is important too. With the majority of donors in the 50 and over age group, make sure type size is large enough to read without eye strain. Most experts say use 12-point or even 14-point type.
Just as pearls add a pleasing counterpoint to a black dress, subheads, captions and other descriptive pieces of text add punch to your letter. Set your subheads in a contrasting font–because they are short, they could even be in sans serif. Use bold and italic for emphasis. Set your P.S., a must at the end of your fundraising letters, in italic or bold and make sure it is set off from the main body of text. And make sure you cover something important in the P.S. Ironically, even though it is at the end of your letter, it is usually the first thing a donor reads.
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