Strategic Planning | Fundraising | Email & Web Copy | Social Media Strategy & Implementation | Online Recruitment | Trainings

Wildly Effective Email & Web Copy 

Email copy that reaches out of the screen and grabs the reader within those first crucial seconds, that not only gets them to open the email and read past the first sentence but that also inspires enough outrage, hope, joy, sympathy or fear to get them to click to actually donate or add their name is the backbone of all successful online programs. Think PASSION!

I have served as the voice of more organizations than I can count at this point, writing passionately and, more importantly, effectively, about genocide, fracking, microfinance, early childhood education, campaign finance reform, cancer, multiple sclerosis, reproductive rights, climate change, Alzheimer's, diabetes, consumer rights, health care reform, wilderness protection and much more. I have also written as a number of celebrities and dignitaries, including George Clooney, Bill Clinton, Chelsea Clinton, Stephen Curry and Rick Reilly (this last required me to read Sports Illustrated for the first time ever...)

Raising money. Here's the first very fundraising email I wrote - it's about 12 years old now, but it holds up pretty well - for Oxfam America in response to a famine in Southern Africa that very few people had heard about yet. It performed gangbusters, raising $16,000 from their fledgling list of 11,000 people thanks to a high response rate and average gift.

The goals of the email were three-fold: paint a vivid picture that would enable well-fed westerners to connect with the tragedy unfolding in Africa on a gut level; provide external validation of the urgency of the situation as it was not being publicized in America, and, last but certainly not least, get people to donate by creating a compelling case for giving, building urgency and offer a concrete, easy solution.

Engaging the public to change policy. This advocacy alert on honey bees not only got people to contact the EPA as part of a rapidly growing groundswell of support for pollinators, it also recruited new supporters and gave the upcoming year-end fundraising effort a boost by landing action-takers on a customized donation page (see below).

Integrating advocacy and fundraising. The action alert above landed action-takers on the fundraising page below, tailored to the issue and expressing gratitude for the action-taker's involvement. This page ended up raising 10% of the total revenue for the year-end campaign without having to send a fundraising email. This passive fundraising tactic is an excellent way to provide a steady stream of revenue without contributing to fundraising fatigue.

Building momentum and deepening the relationship. People who take action online are much more likely to want to find out what happened as a result than people who sign an offline petition. So it's crucial to provide updates whenever they're available. Doing so helps to build momentum, deepen engagement and offers opportunities to move supporters up the ladder of engagement through follow up actions like sharing links and images on social media, making phone calls to decision-makers, donating and attending events.

The report back message below shared some good news to supporters who'd taken actions aimed at preventing Shell Oil from drilling in the Arctic. This message not only helped to keep the activists engaged by giving them credit for the victory, it also gave them a way to deepen their engagement by sharing the good news via Facebook (and helping to reach potential new supporters in the process) and included a passive donate link in the footer which brought in additional revenue. A win-win for the organization and its activists.