Understanding the prospect – what really
motivates these people? Who are they, what do they want, how do they
feel, and what’s their biggest concerns and problems that we can help
solve. What do they desire, what do they believe? Focus on his existing
beliefs, feelings and desires and show him how donating meets the needs,
requirements, and concerns he already has.
Tap into emotion of benevolence: the
disposition to do good, good will, kindness, the love of mankind, with
a desire to promote their happiness, to will or to wish, having a desire
to promote their prosperity and happiness.
People want to be recognized.
People want to make a greater contribution, accomplish something important.
Motivator – exclusivity.
People fear not achieving their dreams.
Human buying behavior – the drive to bond.
Psychological triggers: feeling of involvement or ownership,
Features and benefits
Write down features. Then go down the list and ask what benefit does
this provide the donor? The benefits are points that should be included
in the sales material.
Have three response options. Such as
$50, $25, and $10. Studies show that three choices is optimum and the
majority of people are inclined to pick the middle option.
What is the USP, reason for being, or
big promise? My product helps whom do what better than any other product
in the world by how?
Proven gambit. Start by talking about the reader
– her needs, problems, concerns, desires – establish a connection then
transition to donation. Another starter option is to start with a personal
story or a personal message from the writer to the reader. My son used
this when he did fund raising for his college team. He started with
his personal story and let to a request to support his program. Each
player’s goal was to raise $300. He raised over $3,000!
How to make this doubly effective:
1. Know who the readers is – tailor the request to the person if you
3. Use serif typeface for body text, Sans
Serif for headlines and subheads
4. Use 10-12 point, with 11 as one that is easiest on the eyes
5. Line length and line spacing: add a little more space between lines
than the natural type set line spacing; line length – more like 60 characters
6. Heaviest and brightest visual elements on the top of the page
7. Order forms – narrower font, the area for handwriting should be large
and allow adequate horizontal and vertical space for a person to write
8. Single column in main letter, big side margins
9. Use left align, ragged right justification
10. Center headlines and subheads
11. Indent first line of a paragraph and/or add extra space between
About content – contributors pay attention
to how an organization spends the money. They want as much as possible
to go to work, not overhead.
More than 90% of direct-mail readers turn to the
P.S. in a letter first – use these few lines for turning it
into a quick fund raising donation.
Potential donors want benefits for their money:
the benefits one feels from helping others. Benevolence. Pride – “I
helped build that school.” Power – “I can help elect a candidate”. Belonging
– “I’m part of a special group that understands the need for youth programs.”
Fear – “ I am helping overcome something that is harming the environment.”
Don’t make the fund raising letter self centered!
Use ‘you’ vs ‘I’ in ratio of 7:2. Consider inserting a coupon (7-11,
restaurant, etc.) include a testimonial, include tax deduction or receipt
Always send a thank you immediately to donors.
Not a form letter, but something addressed and signed individually.
Include a deadline, where to send, who make check
out to. Personalize the fund raising letter. Tell them how
much you hope they’ll give. Explain what you are doing and why you are
writing to ask for support. Talk about the cause and your commitment
to it. Invite donors to participate. Tell them the amount of money that
other people are giving to give them and idea what you need. Let them
know what the money will buy.