“You” is the magic word in fundraising, and T’ruah charmed me by using it.
Not only did they send me email with the Subject line “Dennis, Tell Us about YOU.” That would have been enough to make me open the email. (That is a nonprofit’s first objective any time you send email!)
They went beyond the Subject line to talk to me personally and express how much they care about me throughout the content of the email.
Here’s what the message said:
If you have 5 minutes to spare, I’d really appreciate it if you can fill out this quick survey from T’ruah. You’ll be helping out an organization you love AND you’ll be entered for a chance to win a $150 gift card from Bookshop.org.
Take our survey!
We’re interested in learning more about the needs of the changing Jewish community to better develop resources and programming. We are looking for respondents who can tell us about their media habits and how that intersects with their Jewish values and community engagement.
Will you consider taking the survey? Feel free to pass it along to Jewish family and friends!
I look forward to hearing from you. Thank you so much!
Chief Communications Officer
Please notice what T’ruah did here.
- They called me by my name, not “Dear Friend.”
- They led with appreciation and closed with thanks.
- They used “you” three times in the opening paragraph, as opposed to “I” once–and that “I” was to make the appreciation more personal!
- They said “you” and “your” more often than “we” and “our” through the email.
- They reaffirmed the closeness of the relationship with phrases like “an organization you love,” “family and friends,” and the closing, “Warmly.” Even the phrase “Jewish values” reaffirms that T’ruah and I are on the same team and the same page.
All that would have been great with any ask. But T’ruah used warm, personal, “tell us about you” language to actively find out more about me, the donor, and what I care about.
Sending a survey because you want to know how to manipulate someone better is one thing. Sending it in the key of “tell us about YOU, because we care who you are and what you want to hear about” is quite another. Which message is your nonprofit sending to donors?