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8 home truths to remember when you write to someone to give you money (18 Nov 18)

“Pockets are the most sensitive part of a human being: that’s why we need to touch hearts and minds first”. President Lula da Silva of Brazil

Here are 8 home truths to remember if you want businesses to contribute funds. As you will see they are mostly about emotion and feeling .

Emotion always beats reason

The most successful charity letters are that recognize that people give from their hearts, not their heads

Reason justifies the action

Having made an emotional decision, people need to justify it to themselves – and others. They hate to admit – even to themselves – that they are not thinking sensibly

People give to people, not causes

It really helps if you can feature some real people in your application. Enclose some photographs of the people who will be affected by your bid. Talk about them rather than the cause because people give to people, not causes.

Individual stories stir more than vague generalities

One good story beats a ton of statistics or theory. A story keeps people’s attention, far more than a logical sequence of argument

Relevance matters more than ingenuity

There is a temptation within all of us to come out with the well-turned phrase, the clever play on words – even a joke that pleases you. Fight it. The minute people start paying o more attention to the way you deliver your message rather than the contest of your message, you’re in trouble. You are detracting from your argument.

Cheap outperforms expensive

You need to say how little money will be spent on administration because no one wants to see money go to waste, especially now. No one likes to see their money squandered on administration costs or glossy publicity. Wherever you can give exact figures or percentages showing nothing is wasted

Disasters draw more money

It’s a sad fact that disasters appeal to people. They have an urgency and news value that make people feel “something must be done”. Failing a real disaster, try to make it clear that there is a crying need for t

The more you tell, the more you sell

People imagine, quite wrongly, that you must be brief. You must give a compelling argument as to why someone should contribute. You have to overcome every objection people might have to helping you - and give every reason why they should. You can’t do this on one side of A4 paper.

If the topic of fundraising interests you why not run an in house course on it? Email me at rod@rodlaird.co.uk 

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