Things Your Donors Won't Tell You 1/10
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?