Great engagement writing – what’s your focus?

15-03-16 Storytelling writingTwo great articles I read today pointed out that strong engagement isn’t focused on you, but on what your customer or donor cares about – which surprise, surprise..isn’t necessarily about you.

Jenna Quint provided tips on how to write a great charity thank you letter while is YOUR DONOR.

Another by Harvey Schachter for the Globe and Mail says the rules for new economy are shaped by experiences and therefore SHARING STORIES is what people find engaging.

Both articles struck a chord because I’ve been watching how charities speak to me in emails I’ve been receiving in my personal email box. In some cases I’m appalled and in others I’m underwhelmed at best.

One charity recently wrote to me about helping in their fight for children’s rights globally but the email was full of “us” “we” and “our” and hardly mentioned donors at all, except in asking to give generously.

So keep that in mind as you read these two articles which I hope will be a help to you as a marketer or fundraiser.


Write An Incredible Donation Thank You Letter by Focusing On One Thing

Curated from CAUSEVIEW

There are lots of components that go into writing the perfect donation thank you letter. In an older post, I actually put together a comprehensive list of donation thank you letter dos and don’ts While there are tons of best practices, every good thank you letter focuses on one major thing: your donors.

In order to write the perfect donation thank you letter, you need to understand your donors. Now, you’re probably thinking, “I know my donors!” But do you really? People who know their donors can answer questions like: how many different donor types do you have? Why

do they donate to my cause? How do they prefer to be solicited? How often do they donate? Etc.


People in the for-profit space also need to understand our customers. So, in order to get a better idea of what’s driving our customers, marketers craft fictionalized representatives of our ideal customers, called personas. A business can have one persona (customer type) or many personas. Once we establish our persona/s we base all of our marketing efforts, including copywriting, around the persona/s’ needs.

Before you write your donation thank you letters, you should craft your own donor persona/s (depending on how many different donor types you have).

One thing to note, crafting your donor personas will help you with more than writing your thank you letter. It will help you become a more donor-centered fundraiser, all around.

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Don’t sell a brand. Tell a story

Curated from Globe and Mail

In 1999, consultants B. Joseph Pine and James Gilmore told us we had entered a new economy shaped by experiences. More recently, we keep hearing about the need for executives and the brands they oversee to become adept at storytelling.

Frank Rose, a journalist and senior fellow at the Columbia University school of the arts brings those two streams together in a call for us to learn the art of immersion, as his book two years ago was titled, and tap into the thirst for experiences and stories among the consuming public.

“Think in terms of stories and deepening them in ways that can be helpful to your customers, making your company feel part of their lives,” he said in an interview.

Managers, engineers and consultants like facts. And facts, he concedes, are useful. But he insists they are not as powerful as stories, which fit the way neuroscientists are finding that we think.

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