At Impact, we’re big fans of the phrase, “clear is kind” — it’s impossible to meet expectations when you don’t know what those expectations are!
We understand that not all organizations have partnered with fundraising communications firms before. Here are a few tips, tricks, and strategies that will help you make the most of your work together.
- Know what you want. Depending on the project, this might mean “we want Impact to help us identify what will be the most successful approach” (i.e., strategy consulting) or “we want Impact to write a newsletter focusing on these 12 specific topics” (i.e., copywriting). The more you can communicate your needs, the better the consultant can address them.
- Be candid about your organization’s quirks. We promise, we’ve seen it all before. We won’t judge. From the executive director who insists on line-editing every piece of copy printed on organizational letterhead, to the strategic plan that’s been in-progress for eight years, getting a sense of the obstacles you deal with in your work allows us to help you triage, find solutions, and work more efficiently in your fundraising communications.
- Don’t invite too many cooks into the kitchen. While it sometimes happens that a dozen people — from program staff to legal to the C-suite to the custodial staff and beyond — have to review fundraising copy, we encourage our clients to be mindful of who actually needs to approve outgoing messaging. Too many voices and opinions can make for muddled writing, which isn’t the most engaging for your donors and constituents to read.
- Finalize copy before a project moves into design. It can be tempting to continue tinkering with the words once an appeal or annual report has come back from the designer. However, editing at this stage becomes more time-consuming and more risky — did you know that most design programs don’t have spell-check? Finalizing copy before it passes to the graphic designer will keep your timelines on-schedule and your copy clean.
- Communicate honestly. Love a specific sentence? Feel a description isn’t quite right for your brand? We want to know it all: this is how we get better at understanding your unique organization! You won’t hurt our feelings (unless you start calling us names), so feedback on the work is always welcome.