Something I don’t talk about nearly enough is the “tone” of an appeal. I’ve been thinking about this, especially in relation to the audience—your donors.
Since donors are likely to give when contributing to that which is meaningful to them in a personal way, consider customizing your appeal language so they can link giving to your cause to who they are as individuals.
Think about it: men and women react differently to certain words in appeals. When appeals use words like “kind and compassionate” women increase their giving. When men read words like “strong,” “responsible,” and “loyal,” they give more (Jen Shang, Psychology of Giving).
So, when you’re putting your text together, think careful...
Understanding your target market for donors is the first crucial step that must be taken to be an effective fundraiser. You have to know who the people are who are most likely to respond to your cause.
You also need to know things like:
Their typical age range
Their motivations and concerns
The kinds of information they want from you when you thank them and send follow-up info after a donation.
Knowing this information greatly increases the likelihood that your fundraising efforts will be positively received.
So don’t fall into the trap that many charities are guilty of falling into. Don’t look for donations from a certain tax bracket or from just anyone.