Things Your Donors Won't Tell You 1/10

© The Navigators

© The Navigators

1. I wish you were a better writer (I don't read your letters much).

When I see your newsletter in the pile on the kitchen counter I cringe. As your giving partner I should be thrilled to read your letter, but I know from experience it's like wading through wintry slush. Often, I barely browse through them. Sorry.

Why? Here's a list of reasons I wouldn't tell you either, but since you asked:

  • You use names of staff I don't know or care about.
  • You summarize your schedule rather than telling me about changed lives.
  • Your letters are more than a page, and if you stick to one page it is crammed too full.
  • Your page looks like a bulletin board flyer instead of a simple letter with ample margins and "Dear___." It looks like a graphic artist trainee laid it out while hyped up on energy drinks. Two or three fonts are plenty.
  • Meaningless words--there, that, very, really, virtually, at this point in time.
  • Too many dull verbs like is, am, was, were. Use action verbs.

Here's what I want to know: Are people coming to Christ? Are lives being changed? If not, why not? Ask me to pray for breakthroughs! Tell me a story about one changed life. 

I'll probably keep giving, but may I ask: Do you believe good writing makes a difference?