The case for long letters

November 25, 2014

Say it quickly… cut the copy… no more than one page… we don’t “like” long letters….

Like them or not, here’s why you might not want to banish long fundraising letters entirely from your program:

1) In many cases, long letters still raise more money than short letters, particularly when organizations are still developing brand awareness. It takes time and repetition to build a strong case.

2) For organizations with limited marketing budgets, the occasional long letter is essential to sharing your story and building connection as fundraising appeals also perform double-duty as marketing pieces.

3) An occasional long letter can break up the sameness of your program across time, waking your donor up, and encouraging them to pay attention and consider anew the many powerful reasons they should give.

4) Particularly with additional gift requests and major donor appeals, true long-term success comes from giving donors a deep understanding of the importance of your work, allowing them to feel an essential part of it. This can only come from a longer letter.

Don’t throw this important tool out of your tool box. Make sure your donors can see that you have important ideas to share and that you’re willing to take time to communicate with them.

Keep your options open so you can always tell the most compelling story in the best possible way, be it short and dramatic or long and profound.