In any individual giving appeal, storytelling is one of the most important tools in a fundraiser’s toolkit. However, for as much time as fundraisers spend thinking about what stories to tell their donor community to inspire giving, they often don’t pay the same attention to how they’re telling those stories.
Yet focusing on the details of writing – tone, vocabulary, and narrative structure – is enormously important, for even the best, most inspiring stories can get lost in a poorly written appeal. Furthermore, best practices in writing for development vary by channel and intent. There are nuances to writing a piece that arrives via snail mail versus email, as well as differences in how to approach a cultivation piece versus a solicitation.
Learning to write for individual giving takes intention and practice. Just in time to prepare you for your spring appeal, this hands-on workshop will teach you how to take your fundraising storytelling skills to the next level by thinking like a true copywriter.
Preparation: We encourage each participant to prepare for class by selecting an existing or draft direct mail letter, solicitation email, or stewardship communication for revision. The workshop will include opportunities to work on the draft and share with peers for feedback.
Thursday 3/10/22, 2pm — Session #1: In the first half of this workshop, you’ll be introduced to the latest insights from the field of philanthropic psychology, which argues that fundraising copywriting is a unique mix of storytelling and writing directly to the donor’s values and identity. You’ll also learn how to strategically edit your writing and formatting based on the piece’s channel and intent.
Friday 3/11/22, 2pm — Session #2: In the second half, you will have the opportunity to rethink, revise, and peer review a piece of writing based on your new skills.