As journalist Gene Fowler put it, "Writing is easy. All you do is stare at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead."
Certainly, many of us in fundraising feel that way.
Whenever we’re called upon to draft a solicitation
letter, or write copy for the website, or produce a few passages for the
annual report, or, heaven forbid, long stretches of a proposal or case
statement, we sit there … and if we’re lucky crank out serviceable
prose. Few would call it sparkling.
And too few are moved to write a check in response.
Each year, bland writing costs organizations mountains of revenue.
There’s the expense of producing the materials – the printing, production, and processing, to say nothing of the postage costs.
But much more consequential is the lost revenue – the money not
raised when these homogenized materials fail to connect with the very
people who would donate if they were motivated by what they read.
It needn’t be this way, and it won’t be this way any longer for those who invest a few hours in Tom Ahern’s new book, How to Write Fundraising Materials that Raise More Money.
But here’s a twist: Even if you don’t write much, you should read this book. Why? Because it’s about more than writing – much more.
In truth, the publisher might have called the book:
Getting inside the mind of donors and communicating in a way that
inspires their loyalty and generosity.
What Ahern does – while showing you how to craft your
materials – is to plumb the psychology of donors, uncovering what
stimulates interest and instills confidence. His advice applies to all
forms communications, written and verbal.
The short odds are that How to Write Fundraising Materials that Raise More Money
will secure a spot in the pantheon of the best fundraising books ever
written. Communicating with donors is the bedrock of all fundraising.
And no book addresses this topic with such virtuosity.