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CII BLOG > Blogs > Writing for Impact: Crafting Compelling Fundraising Copy

Writing for Impact: Crafting Compelling Fundraising Copy

Struggling with writing impactful fundraising copy? You're not alone! Check out the latest blog piece from OKC.
9 Aug 2023

"Almost all good writing begins with terrible first efforts. You need to start somewhere." - Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird.

Writing effective fundraising copy can be an intimidating task, especially if you're unsure where to begin or lack confidence in your writing skills. However, the good news is that writing is a skill that can be learned and honed over time. By employing specific frameworks, structures, and tips, you can create impactful fundraising copy that forges an emotional connection with your audience, fosters donor engagement, and cultivates a sense of community. In this blog post, we will delve into the key ingredients that make fundraising copy compelling, discuss common mistakes, and provide practical solutions to craft persuasive and inspiring appeals.

The Goal of Fundraising Copy:

Before delving into the intricacies of crafting compelling fundraising copy, it's essential to understand its primary purpose: to create an emotional connection that inspires meaningful action. To achieve this, it is crucial to study and respect your donors, building everything around their needs and motivations.

3 Key Ingredients for Impactful Fundraising Copy:

1. Urgency:

Without a sense of urgency, fundraising copy may fail to elicit the desired response from potential donors. Highlighting the reasons why support is needed immediately can encourage donors to take action promptly. Here are some tips to infuse urgency into your copy:

  • Use time-sensitive words like 'now.'
  • Set a clear deadline (if applicable) for your fundraising campaign.
  • Contextualise your appeal in current events or pressing issues.
  • Clearly articulate the consequences of donors not contributing.

2. Ease

Ensuring that your copy is easy to read and understand is vital to engage donors effectively. Consider the following tips to make your copy more reader-friendly:

  • Use friendly and colloquial language to make your appeal relatable.
  • Keep your writing and formatting simple and easily digestible.
  • Employ short words and sentences to maintain readability.
  • Avoid jargon and acronyms that may confuse or alienate your audience.
  • Clearly state the ask and the impact of giving throughout your copy.

3. Emotional Connection:

Creating an emotional bond with donors is a powerful way to draw them closer to your cause. Humanising your message and appealing to donors' empathy can lead to a greater sense of connection and community. Here's how you can establish that emotional connection:

  • Tap into universal emotions that donors can relate to.
  • Feature stories of individuals impacted by your organisation's work.
  • Focus on the personal experiences of those benefiting from your cause.
  • Use storytelling to evoke empathy and compassion in your readers.
  • Personalise your communications whenever possible to strengthen the connection.

Common Mistakes and Solutions:

1. Focusing on Features Instead of Benefits:

Rather than solely highlighting the features of your organisation's work, focus on the tangible benefits and positive change that donations enable. Show donors how their contributions can make a real difference in the lives of those you serve.

2. Centering the Organisation Instead of the Donor:

Make your fundraising copy donor-centric by emphasising what donors can achieve and how they can make a difference. Address them directly using the pronoun 'you' to pull them into the story. 

3. Using Industry Jargon and Complicated Language:

Simplify your copy to ensure it is easily understood by your audience. Avoid using industry jargon and complex language that might alienate or confuse potential donors.

4. Saving the Ask for the End:

Weave soft asks throughout your copy to keep the donor engaged and motivated. Reinforce the impact and importance of their contribution while leading up to a final direct ask.


Crafting compelling fundraising copy is an art that can be mastered with practice and dedication. By incorporating urgency, ease, and emotional connection into your writing, and avoiding the common mistakes listed above, you can create impactful appeals that resonate with your audience and inspire them to take action. Remember, at the heart of effective fundraising copy is the ability to create a genuine and meaningful connection between your cause and the donor, fostering a shared sense of purpose and empowerment. With these writing principles in your toolkit, your fundraising copy can become a catalyst for change.

At OKC, we work with our clients to create powerful stories that centre the donor and inspire their support. From developing an impactful Case for Support document, to creating compelling pitch materials, we’re here to support you as you tell your unique story. Get in touch today with Sarah at if you would like to work together to ensure that your fundraising copy sparks a connection with your donors and inspires meaningful action.

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