At the end of 2015, I went through all the appeal letters nonprofits had sent me. (Yes, yours too.) What I found was shocking.
People are becoming more visually oriented, and a photo helps your appeal stand out. Yet 40 of 90 letters I received were text only!
Another 24 included blurry black-and-white photos, or nice color photos that added nothing to the message.
What a wasted opportunity!
What a Photo Does for Your Fundraising Letter
Words matter–but only if people read them.
When a donor receives your letter, she takes about three seconds to decide whether to read it or throw it in the recycling. In three seconds, what can she see? Possibly:
- Whether or not you called her by name
- Text that jumps out at her because it’s bold
- The first line of the letter
- The postscript
But more than any of these, a photo with a caption invites the donor in.
<–See what I mean?
Time to Take the Photos
I’m a words guy. Like the candidate who shall not be named on this blog, I have good words. But they do my nonprofit no good if nobody reads them.
You have a camera in your pocket. Use it. Every week–every day, if possible–snap a photo or two that help your nonprofit organization tell its stories. Collect those photos in your storybank. When you write your fundraising letter, pick the photo first!
Then your fundraising letter will stand out like a penguin wearing shades. And your future will be bright.
Every Tuesday this season, I’m offering a tip on how to write better fundraising appeals. Find the rest of the series under Fundraising Tuesday.
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