For a fundraising letter that will raise thousands of dollars, a professional pen can be mighty effective.
That’s not to say that nonprofit staff can’t write good fundraising messages, but I have found that when we hook our nonprofit clients up with one of the professional fundraising letter writers that we know and trust, they are pleased with the letter and the results it gets.
It boils down to this: Writing effective fundraising letters is an art and a science, and paying a professional to write them for your organization usually pays off for a number of reasons:
Our client Sunrise Children’s Services has found this to be true. The Kentucky-based nonprofit provides services and care for abused and neglected children in Kentucky and beyond. Sunrise does a great job of communicating with its audiences–its staff of writers produces newsletters, news releases, a website, social media–in a timely and professional fashion.
Yet, when it came time to produce a fundraising letter, Bo Lanter, national advancement director and major gifts officer, decided to try a professional writer available through our fundraising services area.
As always, I worked to connect the writer with Sunrise. I provided the writer with background information, set up interviews with a couple of key Sunrise staff, and I handled the review and revision of the letter our writer produced.
The writer made suggestions about the length of the letter, about type fonts, about boldfacing words for emphasis. The approach made it an easy process for Sunrise, said Lanter. “The writer was very professional and efficient and didn’t waste our time.” The writer also effectively communicated Sunrise’s mission, which isn’t always easy given that child abuse is a difficult topic to talk about and that being too graphic can turn readers away.
“The letters that resulted from our efforts got very good response. Using an outside writer was a very good decision for us,” said Lanter. And, it’s an approach that the organization plans to use in the future.
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