Does Better Copy Really Matter?

Hands at a Typewriter

By Kathy Swayze

January 14, 2020

I’ve been writing fundraising copy for 30 years. So, I think you can tell already how I am going to answer this question. Yes, I believe better copy gets better results. But it’s not just about good writing.

It’s about the case for giving!  Before you begin writing any fundraising letter, first write a two-sentence case for giving. Answer the question, “How will more money help and why is it needed now?”  By starting here before you write one word of your letter, you help ensure that the case for giving remains central to the letter.

It can be restated in different ways on every page, the reply form and any inserts.  Consistency is key. When you reinforce your case for giving throughout the package, you provide clarity for donors, whether they are skimming or studying your letter.

This is the hardest thing for an amateur writer to do. Their fear of asking overtakes them and they start writing long, rambling paragraphs that muddy the message.  Remember a fundraising letter is about asking and starting with a case for giving ensures that this critical fact does not get lost.

-Kathy Swayze


Photo credit: Ross Evans Used under a Creative Commons (CC-BY-2.0) license

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