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Top 10 Fundraising Tips You Need to Raise More Money

We want to share the best fundraising tips learned from over 20 years of helping nonprofits of all sizes successfully raise more money. This is the advice that has proven to bring in the most donations, and we’re sharing to help you be the most successful fundraiser you can be.

The best fundraising advice is that which will bring in the most money. And conserving resources, such as budget, time, and energy, will always be top of mind for many organizations. Who doesn’t want to make more money while spending less?) Below, we’re sharing some of the best advice we’ve learned over years of helping nonprofits of all sizes successfully raise more money.

  1. Lead with stories not statistics. People give to help people, so take your case for support and make it about the people (or animals) that will have their lives changed. Your donors want to change lives, not numbers on a graph.

  2. More is better. In fundraising there isn’t really a “one and done” messaging strategy. It can take up to 8 times before your recipients have built enough trust to receive and respond to your message. Be sure to create a complete communication plan, including follow ups.

  3. Urgency = Action If you want people to respond right now to your ask for help, you need to write about right now. In the world of fundraising, making your story feel timeless makes it feel irrelevant or unimportant. Make your story urgent to get a response.

  4. Optimize for Older Donors When creating a fundraising piece we may be tempted to make everything look “pretty.” But sometimes “pretty” doesn’t equal effective – which is the goal of fundraising communications. Give your text room to breathe, make it easy to read, and make important messages bold.

  5. How much makes a difference? It’s hard to do something when you don’t have a clear understanding of the goal, right? It’s the same concept when your donors don’t have a clear understanding of how much money they can give that will make a meaningful difference. Make a clear example, such as “$30 can feed a child two health meals everyday for a week!” Your donors want to make a difference, let them know how.

  6. Use a PS Message! We have to accept it – most people only read the first couple sentences of letter or the email we send and skim the rest. But what part are they surely reading? The PS message – so make it count! Always ask your donors to give in the PS message, and make it clear what their donation will help accomplish.

  7. Above the Fold You may have heard of the term “above the fold” used for newspapers – think about that when you’re asking your donor to give. You want to include the ask as soon as possible, and at least on the first page of a letter. Recipients skim their letters before reading the whole thing – don’t hide the ask towards the end!

  8. Know your donors. Personalize your communications beyond a donor’s name. Ask for gifts built on their previous donations or feature a story that is relevant to programs they have supported.

  9. Photos: Proceed with caution. Images often distract from the main goal of an appeal – getting donations! If you have to include a photo on an appeal, make sure the focus of the picture is sad or showing the need for a donor to give. Save happy photos for stewardship or newsletters.

  10. Embrace the space. Make your letter or email as easy to read as possible – add lots of blank space. This means you need to write shorter communications that get to the point quickly. Remove any stumbling blocks, like walls of text. Make it easy for your readers to skim!

Put these tips to work in your next communication to grab your donor’s attention and move them to make a gift!

Ready to send direct mail to your donors, but not sure how? Click here to see how easy it can be with AppealMaker! With AppealMaker, you gain access to:

  • Templates that are easy to quickly customize, making the design process so much easier.
  • Turn times of 3 days, from order to out-the-door, so your appeal can be in your donor’s hands in record time.
  • Plus, only pay for the exact amount of pieces you send & pricing always includes postage!

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