February 5, 2019

What all great fundraising copy has in common


Steph on great fundraising copy

At Avion, not-for-profits are some of our favourite clients. But over the last few years we’ve noticed some key changes in the way the charity sector communicates. Here, we take a look at things to keep in mind when writing copy for non-profit organisations.

If you look at effective charity copy, it tends to have the essential features of most great web copy:

  • It’s concise
  • It’s precise
  • It’s reader-oriented.

But apart from that, the content can vary wildly. Some top charities almost only talk about their cause, while other, equally effective campaigns barely even mention it. What gives?

Actually, the question isn’t “what gives,” it’s…

Who gives?

Good fundraising content is diverse because the reasons we give are diverse. The way you talk about charity depends on who you’re talking to.

Because charities ask for money without offering a product, it’s even more important to understand your audience’s motivations than it is for other companies.

That means it’s important to:

  • Do your research
  • Segment your audience
  • Map their journeys
  • Tailor your copy to fit their motivations.

Here are some examples of donor profiles and how to best communicate to them:

Donor motivation: Loyalty to your charity or campaign in particular.

How to connect: Put your brand front and centre and emphasise continuity, commitment and core values.

Donor motivation: Passion about the cause you work for.

How to connect: Focus on the issues and show evidence that you’re the best option of all the charities in your space.

Donor motivation: The “fun” in fundraising, social benefit or personal goals.

How to connect: Emphasise the positive experience of donating and make your content exciting and highly shareable.

Why do people give?

Don’t assume others give for the same reasons you might. The language you use should reflect the values of the target audience. Some people think of charity as a generous gift, others as a moral duty, others still as a political act.

For instance, how would you speak about a cause to:

Consider the proximity and complexity of the cause, and how to best communicate it. There’s a big difference between the way you’d think about a distant socio-economic problem and a disease that affects your family. Is the cause tied to the news cycle? Or is it always there? When it comes to fundraising, a professional, compassionate copywriting team can make all the difference. Avion has worked with dozens of non-profit organisations, right across the sector. We believe in doing good well ­– and we offer a pro bono rate to non-profit organisations. To find out more about our past projects or talk about a new one, get in touch today.

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