Quick win

It’s a short week, so here’s a quick win for you.Quick Win

It’s a simple way to check how donor-focused you are. You can use it to test your copy, and make improvements that will captivate your supporters. You could turnaround the fortunes of your donor programme this afternoon.

First, take your latest appeal or thank-you letter and a red pen. Circle each ‘we’, ‘I’, ‘my’, ‘our’, ‘the charity’, etc… and any facts and figures.

Then, take a green pen and circle each, ‘you’, ‘you’re’, ‘thank you’, ‘donor’s name’ etc…

Now, what are your total ‘reds’ and ‘greens’? Basically, the more greens the better. It should be all about the donor, not the charity. Aim for more than 50% green. Can you talk about the donor more than your organisation, about their gift and not charity finances?

How do yours compare? I’ve marked-up four as examples. Two score ok(ish), one is abysmal, and one is pretty good:

Blind veterans UK


These aren’t too bad. Though it’s not ideal that the greens are at the start and end – thanking for the last gift, and then asking again. It’s more effective to write to the donor about their needs and their world – throughout. How can you show supporters that you understand them and share their values?

The Prince’s Trust

This is shocking. A donor newsletter that doesn’t thank the donor. Not once. Unsurprisingly, Individual Giving at The Prince’s Trust is yet to wash its face.


Greenpeace’s Dark Side campaign makes the supporter the star. Loving their work.

I also have a cash-recruitment mailing that scores 85% on this test. Yes, it beats most recruitment banker packs on live results. You won’t believe who it’s for, but that’s another blog post…

Do your communications beat the Greenpeace example? Comment below, or take a picture of your red and green circled communications and share.


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