Language is important in the nonprofit world. You’re trying to engender trust through how you communicate, often without face-to-face contact, and every word matters. As you write fundraising emails, blogs, and social media posts, you’ll begin to understand that some words do more work than others. To get specific, here are five words that convince donors to support your charity over others.
You / Their Name
Donors want their dollars to fuel powerful programs, but they’re looking for a charity that values human relationships as well. To do this well, address them directly. “You” gives you a general means of being direct rather than referencing a “valued donor.”
If you can, go even further by inserting their first name in emails, newsletters, and other mediums. This shows that your organization views every person they contact as more than a money-machine or a set of volunteering hands.
Going along with these personal terms, try using “I” more. After all, there should a real person who’s doing the addressing. Inserting “I” or having the person who crafts an email sign with their real name mirrors a two-way conversation between people, whereas cold mass-emails don’t.
Second, “because” does wonders because it suggests there’s solid rationale behind supporting your charity. Potential donors are fishing for reasons to give to you as they read your appeals. “Because” is a signal that these reasons are coming, whether they are testimonials or facts and figures.
Partner / Join
Next up, “partner” or “join” are persuasive words that convince donors to support your charity because they communicate equality rather than a hierarchy. If you’re joining in, you each have and are working toward a shared goal. It’s also just more inviting—partnering with others indicates you’re linking up with an established group, whereas “donate here” doesn’t invite you in beyond a certain point.
Last on our list, but certainly not least, is the phrase, “thank you.” Gratitude expressed following a donation, ideally immediately after, gets donors to revisit often. It helps them feel like a vital part of what’s going on and adds another distinctly human factor to the giving process.
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