Your donor, that is.
Or she should feel like the one.
Strong communication is one to one. Underline that for fundraising communications.
Think about it. You’re writing with a purpose.
You want someone to do something.
The easiest way to be ignored is to ask if “someone” would do it.
(One funny exception: my younger brother knew who “someone” was when it came to taking the garbage out. “Why do I always have to be someone?”, he’d ask.)
If you want your reader to take an action, you need to ask directly.
That means your donor needs to feel she’s being addressed directly.
I learned this years ago when I began writing appeal letters.
I remember a colleague objecting to a distinctly singular “you” in a letter. “But it’s addressed to Mr. and Mrs. Smith!”
“Yes, and only one of them (at a time) is reading it.”
I have to credit him, he got it right away.
You want up close and personal
But I still read too much that’s designed with a large (and therefore impersonal) audience in mind.
It’s the royal we. It’s impersonal. It’s a waste of paper (or screen space) really.
Not buying that one to one is always best?
Newsletters? Of course!
A good speech doesn’t feel general. It grabs you, specifically.
Your website. Surely that’s a one to many communication.
Nope. Not if you want to really communicate.
One to one. Think about the last great piece of fiction you read. It was all happening, just for you, in your own head.
Take it from the boss
Listen, even a concert with 30,000 screaming fans is most effective when it feels one to one.
When I see a great performer – like Bruce – it’s intimate, in spite of the crowd. It’s Bruce and me.
Thunder Road? My song. I’m not thinking of the 10,000 other people who claim it.
I’m thinking about what it means to me.
(Go to the link… it’s from my first Springsteen concert. It was magic.)
Does your donor feel that way?
Your communications – all of them – should be written to one person.
You might know you’re sending that message to 996 of your organization’s closest friends.
But each of those closest friends should feel it’s meant for her.