Let's Raise Some Money
Insights from Karen Climer about fundraising and nonprofit organizations

Focus Your Writing On The Mission – Not On December 31

December 26th, 2013 by Karen Climer

I received an email solicitation a few weeks ago that began like this:

Dear Friends and Supporters-

#GivingTuesday is a national campaign that kicks off the holiday season by celebrating and encouraging charitable activities that support non-profit organizations.

Today, many corporations, civic organizations, students, families, businesses and more will contribute to the #GivingTuesday movement. Will YOU take part in this special day?

After two paragraphs, when all but the most dedicated readers had quit reading, it briefly mentioned the organization and the cause.  (By the way, this was not an email for the Giving Tuesday organization, in which case this opening would have been appropriate.)

In my posting last week about email solicitations, I said not to use December 31 as the case for giving – use it as the urgency.  The case is the reason you exist, the thousands of lives you are changing.  The urgency is the tax benefits of donating before December 31. (Actually a better urgency would be that people are getting sicker, animals are dying, or something mission-related.)

In the email above, the organization skipped the case for giving and went straight to urgency.  Furthermore, the urgency was weak.

When you are creating your emails for the end of the year, don’t make this mistake.  Don’t just focus on the mission, begin with the mission.  The mission should be front and center.  Grab their attention in the first two sentences, because once you lose it, that email is in the trash.

Posted in Communication, Email

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