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Help One, Not Everyone

Appeal letters work better when the donor is asked to help one person rather that many people. Think about that in terms of the appeals you write.

An example: A foundation of a hospital writes: “ Your gift today will help cancer patients.” But, with this one simple change you will raise considerably more: “ Your gift today will help a cancer patient.”

If you’re asking “why” let me explain: When a donor is asked to help just one person, one beneficiary, it’s easier for that donor to say “yes” then when he or she is asked to help an unknown, more difficult to wrap your brain around, larger number of beneficiaries.

Isn’t it more believable? I certainly think so. For instance, if I’m a $500 donor to an organization that helps children, do I really believe the organization when they say, “Your gift will help all the children we serve.” The hospital foundation, after all, helps many hundreds, even thousands, of children. I’m not naïve enough to believe that my $500 gift is going to help that many.

Think of it this way—when creating your fundraising appeals you need to convince your donor to help one individual before they will ever be interested in helping more than one.


Try this strategy in your next appeal. I guarantee you’ll be happy with the results.

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