A couple of days ago, a nonprofit I really enjoy supporting sent a letter to my house.
I was interested to see what they had to say, what they needed help with or what news they had to share.
But when I opened the letter, I barely glanced at it.
Blocks of words.
This letter had no formatting, every sentence was aligned to the left of the page. There was no bolding or highlighting. Not even a single line paragraph to break up the copy. It was front and back of paragraph after paragraph. . . it looked more like a long textbook to read instead of a letter. And I since I couldn’t skim it, I just tossed it in the recycling bin.
It’s a truth that can be hard to swallow (or even believe), but most donors aren’t reading your letters. They’re scanning them. If their eyes scan something interesting, they might read more. But the majority of your donors aren’t reading every line and sentence you’ve painstakingly written.
I’m sorry, I know it hurts. It hurts us, too.
So what should you do?
Make sure you highlight, bold, underline or draw attention to the most important parts of your letter. Vary your paragraph lengths so that the letter doesn’t look so daunting to look at. If a donor is only going to see a few lines, make sure they’re the lines you want them to see!