I love reading blog posts that I wish I’d written. OK, candidly, I both love and hate reading blog posts that I wish I’d written. I love to find someone who thinks the way I do, delivers great content and does it in an entertaining style I appreciate. I HATE reading blog posts I wish I’d written…well…because I want to have the best ideas. Anyway, Jeff Brooks over at fundraisingfuturenow.com has a great post titled: 7-Step Easy Template for a Successful Fundraising Letter (in the spirit of full disclosure, I didn’t even find Jeff’s blog, a buddy sent me the link).
I think Jeff’s on the right track, but I have 2 steps to add to his 7-step easy template for a successful fundraising letter.
So first here’s Jeff’s post:
7-step easy template for a successful fundraising letter
Here are your simple instructions for a direct-mail fundraising letter that will raise buckets of money for your nonprofit organization:
1. Make a list of everything that’s cool and praise-worthy about your organization.
2. Throw that list in the trash.
3. Write down everything that’s cool and praise-worthy about your donors.
4. Figure out exactly what you want your donors to do.
5. Figure out why they would want to do it (given the ways in which they’re cool) and write it down. (This piece of writing, by the way, is probably the P.S. of your letter.)
6. Repeat steps 4 and 5 a whole bunch of times.
7. Keep the best ones, string them together.
Congratulations! You have a darn good fundraising letter!
I think Jeff’s on to something with this–plus he’s cool. I would add 2 steps which I’ll number “A” and “B” (just to keep you on your toes).
Step A. List the top 3 to 5 things your organization is best at. (I believe this step could go between Jeff’s steps 3 and 4).
Step B. Figure out where your “Step A” answers overlaps with your answer to Jeff’s step 5.
Maybe my Steps A and B are unnecessary additions because I hate not to add something, but I’ve seen organizations decide their vision and direction based on what their donors wanted to pay for–sometimes donors want to give to support something you’re not good at or that the world just doesn’t need. Maybe it’s one of those Venn Diagram moments–one circle lists the things your organization is good at, one circle that represents your core vision and the last circle, that’s Jeff’s Step 5. Where the 3 circles intersect, that’s your sweet spot!
Kudos to Jeff Brooks, great post.
So what do you think about the 7 easy steps, plus 2 more steps and a Venn Diagram easy fundraising letter template? How do you think the template would work for you? How would you adapt it?
And as always, I love hearing what you think.
(photo credit: jurek d.)