Make Your Fundraising Letters Personal With The Right Pronouns

Alan Sharpe
 


Visitors: 746

How do you take a mass-mailing fundraising letter and make it sound personal? By using the right pronouns, ones that nurture the bond that you have with your donors.

The mistake to avoid is referring to your organization as a faceless organization, such as “Spencer College wants you to . . . ” or “Mt. Sinai Hospital has a new . . . ” Letters written in that style sound institutional and impersonal. Here is an example of what I mean, taken from the book Direct Mail Fundraising Letters That Work, by Robert L. Torre and Mary Anne Bendixen:

IMPERSONAL: Winthrop-University Hospital provides the community with the best health care.

PERSONAL: When you and your loved ones need medical attention, Winthrop-University Hospital is ready to serve you.

The first example refers to “the community, ” which is impersonal. The second example mentions “you, ” “your” and “you, ” establishing a personal connection with the donor.

Another way to sound personal is to identify with the donor’s world or to have the donor identify with yours. Instead of saying “we want our supporters to write to their member of parliament about the Federal Gun Registry, ” you could say, “I share your concerns about the Federal Gun Registry. That’s why I want you to join us in writing to your member of parliament. ”

To encourage your donors to identify with your world, use pronouns that communicate commonality. For example, you could refer to your clients as “the homeless people of New York City. ” But that sounds as cold as they usually are. Another way of writing that is to refer to “the homeless people of our city. ”

Using the right pronouns (you, your, we and others) in your appeal letters helps you build relationships and retain your donors, even when you mail your letters to thousands of donors that you do not know personally.

About the author
Alan Sharpe is a professional fundraising letter writer, instructor and mentor who helps non-profit organizations raise funds, build relationships and retain loyal donors using creative fundraising letters. Learn more about his services, view free sample fundraising letters , and sign up for free weekly tips like this at http://www.RaiserSharpe.com .

(402)

Article Source:


 
Rate this Article: 
 
Your Fundraising Annual Appeal Letters Need A Villian
Rated 4 / 5
based on 5 votes
ArticleSlash

Related Articles:

Fundraising Appeal Letters: Make Yours Novel Using Fiction Techniques.

by: Alan Sharpe (May 28, 2006) 
(Business/Marketing Direct)

How to Write Fundraising Letters That Motivate Donors To Make Donations to Your .

by: Alan Sharpe (August 18, 2005) 
(Business/Marketing Direct)

Make Your Direct Mail Fundraising Appeal Letters More Friendly With Informal ..

by: Alan Sharpe (April 03, 2007) 
(Business)

Why Donor Acquisition Fundraising Letters Are Longer Than Donation Request ..

by: Alan Sharpe (November 10, 2006) 
(Business)

In Praise of Personal Pronouns

by: Robert F. Abbott (February 06, 2005) 
(Writing and Speaking/Writing)

Object Pronouns - How Are They Different From Subject Pronouns?

by: Charles Johnson (April 28, 2008) 
(Reference and Education/Languages)

Eight Advantages of Fundraising Letters Over Other Methods

by: Alan Sharpe (August 25, 2005) 
(Business/Marketing Direct)

Fundraising Letters: Questions To Ask Yourself Before You Ask Anyone For A ..

by: Alan Sharpe (December 09, 2005) 
(Business/Marketing Direct)

7 Strategies for Writing Fundraising Letters

by: Sandra Sims (August 25, 2005) 
(Business/Sales)

Your Fundraising Annual Appeal Letters Need A Villian

by: Alan Sharpe (September 09, 2005) 
(Business/Marketing Direct)