Copy that your donors and members like

in Copywriting - Nonprofit,Fundraising,Reader-Centric copy

You may have heard the term, “donor-centric” copy or “member-centric” copy.  It simply means the words you write are written from the donor’s perspective . . . they’re centered and focused on what’s important to your supporters.

One of my 2011 resolutions is to help nonprofits develop the skill to write copy that is donor-centric (or for associations it’s member-centric).

Today I have an example to help illustrate the concept of donor-centric copy.

This example is from a letter I received in the mail, although I’ve used a fictitious name for the charity.  One version is verbatim from the letter.  The other version is just one way it could be rewritten. (Note: When asked to edit a letter I often shuffle content around for better effect.  In this example I stayed with the content of the original paragraph and didn’t borrow from any other parts of the letter.  But it could be simplified and strengthened even more if I did.)

I invite you to write a comment to this post and tell me which one you think is more donor-centric and why. Regarding the version you vote for: What is it that stands out and grabs you?  Why do you like it?

Version A: Thanks to you, cancer survivors have better health and quality of life.  How?  They gain access to vital information from our outreach programs.  These outreach efforts you help support have set the standard for other cancer centers across the United States.

That’s not all you’ve helped us achieve.  We’re also looking ahead to make life better for future generations.  Specifically, Acme Charity is training America’s next generation of scientists and physicians.  Together, through on-going research, we continue to come closer to our shared goal of controlling and eventually curing cancer.

Version B: Our outreach efforts to cancer survivors have set the standard for other cancer centers across the United States, and help ensure that the growing number of cancer survivors and their families can take advantage of our specialized knowledge to enhance their health and lives.  On the educational front, Acme Charity’s programs are training America’s next generation of scientists and physicians who will bring us closer to our shared goal of controlling and eventually curing cancer.

Again, vote by posting a comment below and share which version is more donor-centric in your opinion.  And hopefully you’ll also add why you chose the version you did.  Thanks!

{ 3 trackbacks }

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March 8, 2011 at 12:04 pm
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October 13, 2011 at 8:30 am
My dream for more donor-centric copy — Karen Zapp - Nonprofit Copywriter
January 17, 2012 at 8:15 am

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Jeff Brooks January 14, 2011 at 6:43 pm

I have one small quibble with your excellent and useful post, Karen. The questions: “What is it that stands out and grabs you?” and “Why do you like it?” Clearly, Version B will stand out and be liked by people inside the nonprofit in question. That’s why they write that way. It’s why so much fundraising is ineffective. Nonprofits write copy that THEY like, rather than what donors like (which would be Version A).

Karen Zapp, copywriter January 15, 2011 at 10:20 am

Very good point Jeff.

I should have asked, “Which version will donors like better and why?” And yes, the more donor-centric version is “A.”

Thanks for your kind words.

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