The Nonprofit Marketing Blog

6 Ingredients for Standout Appeals

Standout Appeals

Need some help creating the right attention-grabbing, donation-getting, winning appeal for your December campaigns? Download my on-demand webinar to learn how to craft the most compelling story for your individual donors, and then discover how to take that story and use it in other amazing ways to secure funding through partnerships and grant proposals.

So, how do you ensure your #GivingTuesday and year-end appeals break through the noise and inspire donors to give generously? Your appeals need these six ingredients:

  1. A killer intro:  From your subject line to your opening line, draw readers in with a hook they can’t resist. The rest of your work will be lost if no one opens your message or doesn’t bother to read beyond your first sentence.
  2. Human details and clear impact:  Please, please, please: don’t forget your story this giving season. People might be in a more generous mood at the end of the year, but they still need that emotional spark to care about your cause. Be sure to tie your story to the impact a donor can have with their gift.
  3. Compelling images:  As you translate your appeal into multiple channels, striking images and heartfelt videos will help your ask stand out, especially on social media. Find at least one strong photo that illustrates your impact and use it throughout your campaign to reinforce your appeal and create consistency wherever your donors encounter your cause. This means including the same image in your direct mail, email outreach, website, donation pages, social media, and any other materials.
  4. A crystal clear call to action:  Want someone to make a donation? Don’t bury your ask and don’t get too cute with your call to action. Make it straightforward and tell your reader exactly what you want them to do and how to do it.
  5. A strong sense of urgency:  All year-end appeals have a built-in sense of urgency, 24 hours for #GivingTuesday and the clock winding down on New Year’s Eve. That said, you can increase this sense of urgency (and the likelihood that your donors will take action) with matching funds, incentives for giving early, and by underscoring what might happen as a result of inaction.
  6. An authentic messenger:  Who is the most convincing signer or sender of your appeal? It may not be you. In fact, it’s probably not you. It’s more likely that it’s a volunteer, a front-line staffer, another donor, a beneficiary… you get the idea. This is another good reason to equip your supporters with the right messages to spread to their networks, especially during #GivingTuesday. They’ll help you expand your reach and their personal stamp of approval makes the message that much more persuasive.

 

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About This Blog

Connie Poulos
Senior Associate, Copywriter

We’re here to help you win hearts and minds—and donations.

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