Three Magic Words to Improve Your Appeals

Thank You

By Jennifer Clements

October 6, 2020

Want to make your fundraising appeals even stronger? Add three simple words to the mix: YOU, BECAUSE, and THANKS.

(Don’t use all caps, of course. That’s for emphasis here, and there’s no need to shout at your donors.)

Our friends over at The Modern Nonprofit compiled some research about what makes these three words so powerful. Here are the three magic words, and a few of the reasons you should include them in your fundraising language.

“You is one of the five most powerful words in the English language. Marketers and copywriters have long used this magic word to appeal to the self-interest of consumers. You can deploy you to make a deeper, more personal connection with your supporters. Because when you’re asking for donations, you’re really selling your cause.” Similarly, personalizing the copy with their name — showing how they can effect positive change for the cause they care deeply about! — works just as well.

“Convincing your supporters to take action can be as simple as giving them a reason why. When it comes persuasion, it turns out that just about any reason is better than no reason at all.” When you use because in your ask, you’re anchoring it in something concrete – a polar bear on the brink of extinction, a meal for a hungry child, or a cure for a life-threatening disease. You’re showing the donor what their gift can help accomplish, and that makes all the difference.

“Saying thank you is a big deal. It’s a best practice in development work—and key to building strong relationships with your supporters. This magic word helps you turn your volunteers into donors and your one-time donors into your biggest champions.” When you thank your donors, your gratitude makes them feel good. And when they feel good about you and your organization, they’re more receptive to giving!

By-Jennifer Clements

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