Check These Misconceptions Before Writing A Fundraising Letter

shopping list 707760 1280How can you bring out the wordsmith in you when writing a fundraising letter if you are quite unsure of the rules to follow? Although thinking through your fingers and simply pouring out your thoughts on paper make the writing tasks easier, you still have to make sure that your thoughts are conveyed properly to potential donors.

When writing a fundraising letter, choosing your words carefully means a lot. You may have a hard time coming up with the best fundraising letter because you can be your own worst critic. This is why you should review your draft and identify some areas for improvement. Make sure your potential donors will feel engaged in your conversation.

Avoid conventional prose and cliches because donors will only get bored. Try to create a connection not only with your potential donors but also with your organisation.  

Although you are writing a letter, when your letter feels like an actual conversation, your prospects will also sense your sincerity. Don’t just be mindful of your grammar and punctuation as you also have to pay attention to the letter’s overall appeal.

Suffice it to say, being keen on details lead you in the right direction.

• Incomplete sentences: A real conversation should have subject-verb agreement. A sentence is a complete thought and when you are writing a letter that resembles a text message, your reader will more likely to skim through the pages of your letter rather read it. Take time to write in complete sentences so you can convey the right message.

• Using “I” frequently: If you are trying to achieve objectivity, this singular voice is often drummed out especially on essay writing. The same rule applies when writing a letter.

• Too much use of dashes: One of the purposes of dashes is to link phrases together but when used liberally, it can also become an eye sore in your letter.

• Contractions: For direct mail writing, contractions are a big no, no. However, many people including the most educated leader cannot avoid using this shorthand especially when speaking.

• Using “and” at the beginning of a sentence: You may consider using 'and' to encourage your readers to keep reading the letter but the improper use of this connector can repel readers instead of engaging them in a written conversation.

• Repetition: Instead of using the same words over and over again, try to rephrase your sentences to come up with a more thoughtful and insightful idea. See to it that you organize your thoughts or points in a logical manner. The message must be conveyed in one paragraph to avoid redundancy.

• Writing in short paragraphs without checking whether the sentences belong together: Creating seven lines in a paragraph that don’t seem to connect with each other may leave your readers lost. Your main goal is to make sure that your readers’ interest is captured and this can be done by ensuring that your letter is easy to read.

• Empty words: In the hopes of making your letter lengthy, you add words that don’t give weight to the entire message. If you wish to write with flair, make sure that the real purpose of your letter is not set aside.

Melissa Anderson

Written by : Melissa Anderson

Melissa first started fundraising when her daughters' pre-school needed some sun shades. Since then, she's gone on to become somewhat of  fundraising ideas expert, as well as a super-Mum. Melissa loves sharing ideas about how to raise funds, and welcomes your questions on this blog.

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