(Please note: all similarity to you or your cause is purely coincidental.)
Dear Ms. Nit-Picker,
This is an open letter to charity staff members who edit fundraising appeals. With special focus on those of you who aren’t direct response fundraisers or have a clue about fundraising strategy. Just like with my Dear Mr. Fancypants blog, here are some of my inner monologues on the subject.
Ms. Nit-Picker: “Agent Jen, I’m changing this thank you message to ‘The ABC Foundation is deeply grateful to its donors’.”
Well done, Ms. Nit-Picker. You’ve taken a genuine person-to-person thank you and made it a vacant grammatically correct org-speak.
Ms. Nit-Picker: “Agent Jen, here is some background information so you can write our year-end appeal.”
Wow, Ms. Nit-Picker. Your ‘Implications for Proposed Brand Strategy’ 52 page document would be great for starting a fire, and your ‘Diagram of Core Supporter Filters’ shows me that you’re real smart. I’m a little more interested in what you’re raising money for and inspiring your donors to act. But hey, is that just me?
Ms. Nit-Picker: “Agent Jen, I don’t like how this sounds. It’s too emotional. Last year’s appeal was approved by all levels of management. Can you lift phrasing from this instead?”
Sure, Ms. Nit-Picker. Why tell your donors anything new? Doesn’t really feel like you’re taking much of an innovative approach to what you’re doing anyway.
Ms. Nit-Picker: “Agent Jen, I don’t like the call to action as ‘Yes! You can count on me this holiday season!’. Can we work in language from our new 2-paragraph mission statement?
Ms. Nit-Picker: “Agent Jen, we want to get more online gifts. Can we focus on a process that gets them to give online?”