Mal Warwick has completely revised his classic book
How to Write Successful Fundraising Letters, now calling it How to Write Successful Fundraising Appeals to better reflect today's multichannel fundraising environment. The new work replaces nearly all examples from the previous edition, and includes three chapters on online fundraising appeals.
In "The New Keys to Success in Fundraising Today" he debunks three popular myths about direct mail fundraising, which all point to the continuing importance of composing strong letter appeals:
Myth #1: "Online fundraising will make direct mail obsolete" He states that while it's true that online revenue is rising rapidly, it still only accounts for less than 5 percent of revenue. Direct mail accounts for twenty (perhaps even forty!) times the revenue brought in by online fundraising.
Myth #2: "Younger people will all go online to give" One study found that the youngest people it studied responded just as well to direct mail appeals as they did to online appeals.
Myth #3: "Social networking is the key to success in fundraising" While he feels this could eventually be the case as it becomes more embedded in people's day-to-day lives, right now social networks are "not even on the radar screen" as a route to fundraising success.
The rest of the book gives step-by-step instructions on how to craft an appeal that motivates donors of any type. Want to recruit a new donor? Read "Starting Intimate Conversations with Strangers." Want to take advantage of the upcoming holiday season? Read "Asking for Year-End Contributions: Making the Most of the Holiday Spirit." He provides example after example of appeals to match pretty much any fundraising need, including the solicitation of high-dollar gifts.
The use of emails, e-newsletters, and social media gets full treatment in "Writing Online Appeals." Here, Warwick outlines the anatomy of a well-crafted email, and includes an award winning sample email from MoveOn.org. He even provides an assessment worksheet to grade your email's content, style, and persuasiveness. For fundraisers who believe in the power of social media, he includes sample Facebook ads, posts, and updates; and for readers that want to cater to the smartphone crowd (which is pretty much everyone nowadays), you'll find sample mobile-optimized donation forms.
Finally, an "Appeal Writer's Toolbox" at the end of the book includes a sample multichannel campaign calendar, 20 great email subject lines that got great responses, and other lists that can help you write the best leads ("You may be surprised to learn ..."), or handle awkward copywriting transitions ("Today, more than ever ...").
For other similar resources in the library, search the Catalog of Nonprofit Literature using the subject direct mail. Recommended books include: Perfect Phrases for Fundraising by Beverly A. Browning and The Mercifully Brief, Real World Guide to Raising Thousands (If Not Tens of Thousands) of Dollars With Email by Madeline Stanionis.
New York, NY